ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has given a Minnesota turkey its walking papers just in time for Thanksgiving.

This year’s turkey is from Melrose. The big bird’s pardon is ceremonial, and the president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers wouldn’t promise the creature won’t still be a main dish at some point. That organization’s membership has donated 11,000 pounds of turkey meat to food shelves this year.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Audio Of The Event

Dayton praised Minnesota Turkey growers, who are number one in the nation when it comes to production.

Steve Olson is executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

“With 95 percent of all Americans eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day, Minnesota turkey farmers play very important role in the most beloved meal in the United States,” Olson said.

The Turkey Growers Association also donated 11,000 pounds of food to Hunger Solutions Minnesota Tuesday.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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