Skip to main content

South Dakota Turkeys to Travel to D.C. for Thanksgiving Pardon

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota School of Law alumnus Jeff Sveen was asked to raise the turkeys who received pardon from the President of the United States this Thanksgiving.

Every year, the United States President is gifted a turkey and pardons it as part of a Thanksgiving tradition. This year, the pardoned turkeys came from Riverside Colony near Huron. Sveen raised 50 turkeys who lived the “suite life” in preparation to be the presidential turkeys. This was the first year South Dakota was asked to raise the Thanksgiving day turkeys.

When the two special turkeys arrived in D.C., they stayed at the Willard InterContinental Hotel and received spa services to help them primp for the president.

The turkeys will spend the rest of their lives at Gobbler's Rest, a special facility at Virginia Tech. 

Watch an informational video produced by South Dakota Poultry Association about the presidential turkeys.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News