PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On one 12,000-acre farm in the Lehigh Valley, where the American flag waves above, many are already flocking to their Thanksgiving turkeys.
“You can’t get a better turkey than here,” said George Schaffer of Allentown, who stood in a line out of the doorway waiting to pick up his turkey.
But on this farm, there’s also a presidential product.
“We’ve gotten correspondence from both Bushes, Reagan sent us a letter, photos of Bill Clinton cutting our turkey for his Thanksgiving dinner,” said farm manager Luke Jaindl, a fourth-generation namesake.
Jaindl Farms has been providing the White House with its Thanksgiving turkeys for nearly 60 years
They’re just two of about 840,000 turkeys the farm will process this year, Jaindl says.
“Our name’s on the bag – so it means a lot. The legacy, the history that my father, grandfather, great-grandfather have created for us. It means everything,” he said.
The honor of providing presidential birds began with Jaindl’s grandfather, who for many years, won the National Turkey Federation’s Competition with the ‘Grand Champion’ breed.
“Starting 1960, the President of the NTF suggested we present our turkey to the President of the United States,” Jaindl said.
And they’ve been doing so ever since.
“It’s a cool feeling but at the end of the day, every turkey is raised the same way, so the turkey you’ll get is the same exact bird the president gets, but it means a lot. We’re happy to do so.”
After all, for many, what graces the table isn’t as important as those who are seated around it.
“It’s tradition for all Americans, and I think it’s to share with your family and being together,” said Olympia Betcu, who came to pick up her turkey.
The farm will ship out the presidential turkeys via UPS in the next couple of days.