Pardon us, Tom, but there's no amnesty for turkeys in Minnesota


It was actually a hen, not a tom, that posed for photos with Gov. Mark Dayton in a Thanksgiving-time ritual. But she's not getting off the hook, either.

At Monday's ceremony Dayton joked that while the president may pardon turkeys, he doesn't have that authority and he declared the pair at the governor's office to be "already doomed," Forum News Service reports.

For those without feathers, Minnesota's turkey industry is something to celebrate. No other state can match the 46 million birds produced on Minnesota's farms. With three major processing centers also located within its borders, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association puts the industry's economic impact on the state at more than $800 million a year.

As its done for more than a decade, the Turkey Growers Association is making a Thanksgiving donation of meat to Minnesota food shelves. This year's 13,000 pounds will be distributed to food banks across the state by Hunger Solutions Minnesota and is enough to feed more than 19,000 people, the farmers say.

Declining to pardon Minnesota turkeys may keep Gov. Dayton out of the crosshairs of satirists who are using the occasion of the upcoming White House pardon as fodder for some comedic gobbledygook.

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