2 Minnesota turkeys pardoned by President Joe Biden in annual Thanksgiving tradition

A pair of Minnesota-raised turkeys were pardoned on Monday by President Joe Biden. 

The president pardoned the birds at the White House as part of an annual Thanksgiving tradition, saving them from becoming a meal. It only makes sense that the turkeys would come from Minnesota — the state produces more turkeys than any other state in the country. 

"As the number one turkey-producing state in the nation, Minnesota makes sure the rest of the country can celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious meal," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. "It’s an honor for our farmers and producers that two Minnesota-grown turkeys - Liberty and Bell - received the presidential turkey pardon. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends."

The turkeys, named Liberty and Bell, were hatched as part of the presidential flock in July. They made their public debut on Sunday at the Willard Intercontinental, a luxury hotel near the White House. They were checked into a suite after their long trip from Willmar, Minnesota. 

After they're pardoned, the birds will return to Minnesota where they'll live out the rest of their lives at the University of Minnesota. The turkeys will receive housing, daily care and access to vet services under the care of the faculty, vets and U of M poultry science students. 

Pardoning turkeys is a longstanding White House tradition that dates back to 1947, when the National Turkey Federation first presented a "National Thanksgiving Turkey" to President Harry Truman.