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Gov. Herbert pardons ‘Norbert,’ turkey to live out days at Thanksgiving Point

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SALT LAKE CITY - One lucky turkey is breathing a sigh of relief after Governor Gary Herbert pardoned him Tuesday.

The turkey’s name is Norbert and he is from Utah’s only turkey grower, Norbest.

Norbert, weighing in a just over 47 pounds, will live out the rest of his days at Thanksgiving Point.

Gov. Herbert said this pardon represents how plentiful Utah’s agriculture industry has been over the years.

He said the $17.5 billion industry employs 78,000 people and counts for 14 percent of the state’s economy.

Norbest’s president and CEO Matthew Cook said his company generated $71 million last year and distributes to 34 states and 26 countries.

It employs 500 people and growers produce 500 million birds each year.

“We love what we contribute to the agricultural community and to the state's economy,” Cook said. “Our farmers take a lot of pride in growing a product with their families that they know a consumer is going to consume.”

All of Norbest’s farms are family owned.

“I am pleased to note that we have more small farms in Utah than any state in America,” Gov. Herbert said.

Cook also said his company has been chosen to deliver the presidential turkey in a few years to be pardoned by the President of the United States.