Minnesota's Willmar Poultry Company and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association are raising the 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey, which will be presented at the White House in November. 

Representatives from the company and the association see the honor as a significant opportunity to highlight Minnesota's turkey industry and its farmers. "I've asked the MTGA to be very involved in this project because it's important to me that the entire Minnesota turkey industry gain visibility during this project," said Rick Huisinga, WPC executive. "We don't get this opportunity every year, and I'd like to make sure that people all over the country know how significant turkey is to Minnesota."

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The 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey eggs were laid at a WPC farm in early June and they hatched at the WPC hatchery in Willmar on July 7, 2011. In September, a small number of toms from that hatch were selected and moved to a facility specially designed for them. One of those toms will ultimately be selected as the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and one will be his alternate.