Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features 100th anniversary Notable People
VIPs of the Poultry Industry

March 4, 2013
By Canadian Poultry


Dorothy Batcheller
DBatchellerDorothy Batcheller: A champion of the poultryman’s cause.

Dorothy Batcheller was a true trailblazer – a whirlwind visionary who promoted the consumption of turkey, eggs and chicken by leveraging funds provided by producers, without any dependence on government.

Batcheller (her maiden name, which she used in her career) worked as an economist for the Consumers Section of Canada’s Department of Agriculture, from the late 1930s until she retired – for the first time – in 1950. It wasn’t long before she was persuaded to take a part-time position with the Poultry Products Institute (PPI), which had a goal of promoting the consumption of eggs, chicken and turkey across the nation.


It was a difficult time to take on this challenge, but Batcheller worked with what she had. The Canadian poultry industry had been crippled at that time, forced to drastically reduce its layer flock after Britain cancelled egg contracts in 1949.

There were no marketing boards at that time, and the PPI operated on a shoestring budget. When the marketing boards were formed, Batcheller seized the moment. She travelled coast to coast, directly promoting poultry consumption. She also pushed for – and got – poultry marketing board home economists in all provinces, women who were able to build on her work in generating interest in poultry.

Batcheller also produced cookbooks for all three commodities: Cooking Canada’s Chicken, Cooking Canada’s Turkey and Cooking Canada’s Eggs. All of her recipes were “husband tested” and she promoted the books tirelessly. After a marathon two-week, 16-hour-per-day, 2,000-mile tour around Saskatchewan, her visits to schools and grocery stores – along with associated newspaper and radio coverage – triggered orders for 10,000 of each volume. From July 1970 to April 1971 she clocked 42,000 miles on her promotional rounds in various provinces. During one visit to Vancouver, Batcheller’s half-hour spot with a noted radio broadcaster expanded into a three-hour marathon segment, with phone lines jammed with calls demonstrating the public’s thirst for poultry information.

Dorothy Batcheller was a dedicated, hard-working professional with ambitious goals that she met and exceeded for an industry she believed in. As Fred Beeson said in 1981 (the year she died), she “championed the poultryman’s cause, so effectively, for so long.”

Harvey Beaty
BeatyHarvey W. Beaty (1916-94) was inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1995 after devoting his working life to agriculture.

The citation for the induction says, in part: “For more than forty-five years, W. Harvey Beaty successfully devoted his working life to agriculture, in which he had an abiding faith. He organized farms, built farm organizations and developed people. Because he became a paraplegic in an accident in his youth, Mr. Beaty learned to build with people. Harvey was founder and builder of Cold Spring Farms Limited and affiliated companies. He purchased his first farm of 100 acres in Thamesford in 1949 and added to it until there were 60 farms containing 8,745 acres in Ontario in 1994 and further holdings in the USA.”

Harvey Beaty was nominated for the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame by fellow producers via what is now known as Turkey Farmers of Ontario.

Beaty led and co-ordinated the growth of enterprises in turkeys, beef, pork and grain in Canada. He diversified his expertise into a feed mill, grain elevators, a processing plant, a rendering plant, a farm machinery dealership, automotive workshops, a fertilizer plant, fabrication, construction and development.

Beaty also served as director of many organizations, including the Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board, the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board, the Ontario Poultry Council, the Poultry Products Institute of Canada and the Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition. He assisted in the formation of several of the organizations, as well as the Ontario Poultry Centre. He served as director of the Oxford and Ontario Federations of Agriculture and on the Thamesford Village Council, Western Farm Association, and the Ontario Food Council. He was also involved in assignments for the Economic Council of Canada, the Canadian Grains Council and the Canadian Tariff Board.

Claude Bernard
Claude-Bernard bwIt was 1966, and egg producers were being tossed through the boom and bust cycles before supply management. Claude Bernard was just a young man then, sharing all the pains, hopes and dreams of trying to convince some 2,700 producers to join create a marketing board.

Claude Bernard is a living and always involved witness, since 1966, of FPOCQ’s development and evolution.

Bernard and Ovila Lebel founded what became the first federated, province-wide, table egg producers’ marketing board in Canada in 1964: Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency. A graduate of the Brigham School of Agriculture, at 29 years of age, he immediately became Lebel’s right hand man.

Claude Bernard also became chairman of the Saint-Hyacinthe Regional Union of Table Egg Producers in 1966.

A Grading and Sales Agency was also created and Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency experienced 17 years of prosperity. But Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency and, particularly, the legitimacy of the Sales Agency, were challenged by several members who had other ideas.

After representing Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency at the Canadian Egg Marketing Board (CEMA) from 1976 to 1981 and supporting Ovila Lebel, especially by defending the Sales Agency, the legitimacy of which he was convinced, Bernard was elected chairman of Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency when Lebel decided to retire in 1982.

Bernard noted the successful rise of a number of grading stations, one of which was Nutri-Œuf Inc. in St. Hyacinthe, a regrouping of 34 producers presently owning more than 1.35 million layers and marketing some 40 per cent of all Quebec eggs.

When Bernard became convinced that the Sales Agency was becoming an obstacle to unity among Quebec producers, he resigned from his position as chairman in 1986, after having allowed a motion to dissolve the Sales Agency and erase the registration acronym Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency, which was replaced by the actual “FPOCQ”: Fédération des producteurs d’œufs de Consommation du Québec – the Quebec Federation of Table Egg Producers.

Self-sufficiency in table eggs and industrial eggs is still far from being realized but progress is steady, if slow. Efforts made by all chairmen to establish equitable allocations have gained ground.

Wally Berry
Wally-Berry-1When Wally Berry looks back on his years in the poultry industry, he thinks he was very fortunate to get involved before it changed from small farm flocks to large-scale growing of chicken and turkey.

Berry entered the poultry business in 1946 after being discharged from the air force, with a firm known at that time as the Alberta Poultry Producers, now known as Lilydale Poultry.

The company was set up in 1940 to 1941 to support the war effort and millions of pounds of dry-egg powder, fowl, chicken and turkeys shipped overseas to feed the troops.

Active in the poultry industry for 43 years, Wally Berry says his main interest is now horses.

According to the annual reports from those days, the company was serving 40,000 poultry shippers in Alberta. During the war years, Alberta built itself up to be the second largest producer of poultry products in Canada, next to Ontario. Alberta Poultry Producers operated 75 egg-handling stations, 10 country killing plants, three hatcheries and an egg-drying plant.

It was in the early 1950s that the organization realized that it was totally obsolete for what lay ahead in the poultry industry. It had to sell off every operation, including its real estate, and start over.

Over the next number of years, Lilydale developed into one of the major poultry processing companies in Canada, with operations in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

When Berry started in the poultry industry it was in its infancy compared to what it is today. In the 43 years he was involved, he saw it change from New York dressed to eviscerated poultry then to further processing and basted turkeys.

With such developments as line speeds running at 12,000 per hour, liquid freeze systems and marketing boards, it was one change after another. In 1955, 3.7 pounds of feed was used to produce a pound of chicken at 73 days, Berry once said. “Compare that to today’s figures!”

Hayward Clark
clark haywardHayward Clark was a leader in the poultry industry, a co-operator, a strong supporter of farm organizations and a faithful member of his church.

Hayward R. Clark’s 54 years in the poultry industry rank him among the pioneers who were able to see the industry grow from the small farm flock to the multimillion-dollar, efficient food producing industry it is today.

Born in 1900, Clark did not begin his career in the poultry industry until 1926 with a setting of eggs he hatched on the farm, but he ended it with a modern chick hatchery that at the time of his retirement was the largest in the New Brunswick, serving markets throughout Atlantic Canada.

His leadership was instrumental in the rapid and dramatic development of improved breeder flocks. The standard dual-purpose breeds such as Barred Rocks were the mainstay of the business until the late 1950s, when he initiated and encouraged the specialization of poultry breeds, obtaining a Shaver Leghorn franchise for New Brunswick and encouraging the use of meat birds for the broiler trade.

Hayward Clark was a cooperator. He was associated with Capital Co-operatives, both on the board of directors and as its president during the time it expanded to serve the needs of the farmers in the central area of New Brunswick. His contribution to the farming community was also extended to thirteen years on the board of directors of Co-op Atlantic.
Hayward was a leader in the poultry industry, a cooperator, a strong supporter of farm organizations. His business was one of the largest in Atlantic Canada and following his death in 1981, is now under the management of his son, Donald.

He was inducted into the Atlantic Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1984.

Alfred McInroy (Mac) Cuddy
alfred-cuddyMac Cuddy was born on Oct. 24, 1919, in Kerwood, Ont., and raised on the family farm in Adelaide Township. At the young age of 14, he found that if he left lanterns burning in the chicken house the chickens laid more eggs. Cuddy was a born poultry producer.

After earning his degree in horticulture in 1942 from the Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph, he enlisted and went off to serve in the Second World War. He returned home in 1945 with the rank of Captain.

In June 1950, Cuddy bought a 100-acre turkey farm just outside Strathroy, Ont., where 400 breeding turkeys quickly increased to 1,000 birds. Supply issues led him to buy a couple of used incubators and he soon started hatching his own eggs.

Mac Cuddy changed raising turkeys from a seasonal operation into a year-round industry.

He also quickly discovered that the growing season was not long enough to have birds ready for the peak selling times – Thanksgiving and Christmas. With artificial lighting, though, the birds could produce eggs year round, and therefore produce meat year round.

He collaborated with U.S. producer, breeder and friend George Nicholas, in Sonoma, Calif., and through artificial lighting and the development of artificial insemination they were able to supply a growing market.

Cuddy Farms Ltd. in Canada, the United States and Scotland now supply poults worldwide. As the company grew, Cuddy diversified into food processing, developing further-processed turkey and chicken products that consumers readily accepted.

In 1986, Cuddy Chicks broiler hatchery was established in Jarvis, Ont., and by 1987, Cuddy had opened Canada’s largest and most advanced poultry and processing plant in London, Ont. Both were sold in 2001 to Cargill’s Sun Valley Foods. By 2003, the remaining food-processing business was sold and the focus of the company returned to turkey.  

Cuddy passed away in 2006 but his legacy lives on. His contributions to the industry have been recognized in numerous ways. He has received the Ontario Poultry Council Award of Merit, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award, and the London Chamber of Commerce Farmer of the Year Award. In 1986, the Canadian Hatchery Federation named him “Man of the Year.” He was also made honorary member of the Poultry Science Association. In 1994, the University of Guelph awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws and Canadian Business Magazine named him Ontario’s “Master Entrepreneur of the Year.” He has been inducted into the London Business Hall of Fame, and the Ontario and Middlesex agriculture halls of fame.

Brian Ellsworth
Elsworth16Brian Ellsworth retired in the early 2000s after 34 years as general manager of Ontario Egg Producers.

But his influence extends well beyond Ontario. A major factor in the Canadian egg industry, he was chairman and is now honorary president of the International Egg Commission.

The influence of Brian Ellsworth has been far-reaching in the egg industry.

Ellsworth is a former president of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. He was a Nuffield scholar and served as Canadian president of the Nuffield Association.

He was general manager of the Ontario Egg Board in the turbulent years leading to supply management and co-ordinated a producer mail-in campaign that spurred the Ontario government to quickly set up a promised marketing board. The campaign irritated the politicians, but produced results and the board was established.

Ellsworth also presided over the expansion of the agency from a two-person office located in downtown Toronto to a much larger office located in Mississauga and was instrumental in Ontario’s many successful egg marketing initiatives.

John Eyking

EykingFor 24 years John Eyking represented Canada’s egg producers on the board of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency.

When John Eyking decided to emigrate from Holland in 1953, his first choice of destination was British Columbia because he felt its climate offered the best opportunity to use his family-farm experience with growing bulbs, vegetables and strawberries. But the west’s economy was struggling at the time, and so he decided to try Canada’s east coast instead. It ended up being a good choice.

After he arrived in Nova Scotia, Eyking worked on a dairy farm, a golf course and a nursery. He started his own landscaping business, and in the winters, found other work. He met and married another young Dutch immigrant, Jeane Mertens, and the couple soon bought a farm on Boulardarie Island, raising vegetables and a small flock of poultry. Both operations grew, and Eyking was soon farming 60,000 laying hens. As the egg industry cycled through the ups and downs to come, the Eyking operation sustained itself through its farm store and selling eggs door to door. Eyking also purchased a small independent grocery store chain, but did not stay with it.

By 1968, Nova Scotia egg producers were facing difficult issues. Eyking tried to persuade his colleagues to create a supply management system similar to what he had learned was being developed in British Columbia. The first attempt failed, but with the help of agriculture department representative Stuart Allaby and others, a second vote two years later was positive. For 24 years of his career, Eyking represented Nova Scotia on the board of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. That experience strongly motivated him to create an “atmosphere of co-operation” among Nova Scotia egg producers, so that market share tussles between mainland and Cape Breton farmers could be resolved.

The Eykings eventually had 10 children, several of whom help run the operation. The family grows their own poultry feed on several nearby farms, and it is mixed onsite and blown into the barns using a computer-controlled system. Today, John Eyking claims to be mostly retired from the farm business, but shows few signs of slowing down the pace he’s always kept during his long and varied career.

Bert Hall
berthallBorn in 1920 and raised on a farm near Manitou, A.E. (Bert) Hall was a founder of the first registered turkey hatchery in Manitoba. In 1956, he assumed the position of general manager and director of Manitou Broiler Farms Ltd., participated in the organization of the Manitoba Broiler Industry Association and was its chairman. In 1968, the Manitoba government established the Manitoba Chicken Broiler Producers’ Marketing Plan and Bert was appointed as a board member and later served as chairman for 15 years.

He also represented Manitoba in the formation of the Canadian Broiler Council, was a member and served two terms as president of the Manitoba Farm Bureau, was a director of the Western Agricultural Conference, a director of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and Canfarm, and served as the Manitoba representative to the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency, completing a term as chairman. Bert was also appointed to the Federal Government Ad Hoc Grains

Bert Hall was a key player in the growth and development of Manitoba’s poultry industry.

Committee (whose purpose was to ensure adequate supplies of feed grains for the Canadian livestock industry), chaired a committee for consultation with producers on a new farm organization and was provisional chairman of Keystone Agricultural Producers. In 1988, he was appointed a member of the Manitoba Natural Products Marketing Council, served on his district’s school board for 20 years as trustee, was a member of the Pembina Manitou Health Board for 10 years and served as mayor of Manitou from 1986 to 1992.

Bert was honoured with the Queen’s 25th Anniversary medal in 1977 and inducted into the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1999.

Joe Hudson
Joe-HudsonWith Joe Hudson still at the helm, Burnbrae Farms remains a thriving participant in Canadian agribusiness.

For Burnbrae Farms, the company built by Joe Hudson, the old question of which came first – the chicken or the egg – is easy to answer – it was the cow that came first. At first a dairy farm in Lyn near Brockville, Ont., Burnbrae began egg
production in 1943.

Joseph Arthur Hudson, along with his wife Evelyn, had been expanding the farm’s crops and dairy business. In 1943, their son Joe became involved in a high school poultry project, which he then managed on the farm with help from his father and his brother Grant. By the time Joe completed high school in 1948, the number of laying hens had increased to 3,000. Eventually, the farm’s main enterprise became poultry, with the first laying barn constructed in 1952 and a major expansion in 1956.

With Joe Hudson still at the helm, Burnbrae Farms remains a thriving participant in Canadian agribusiness.

Over the years, the Lyn operation has continued to expand. The laying barns are now connected by an in-line system whereby a conveyor belt carries the eggs from the barns to an egg processing facility. Over the decades, the company has expanded on a large scale through buying other production sites and grading stations. In 1981, Bon-EE-Best Eggs in Mississauga joined the Burnbrae group. Burnbrae also has a Calgary plant, and effectively the company now has a presence in all regions right across Canada.

Burnbrae has also continued to add specialty products, such as all-vegetable feed “Nature’s Best” and omega-3 fatty acid-rich “Omega Pro” eggs, with tremendous growth seen in that segment of the business. Burnbrae Farms now employs 450 people nationwide and sells eggs and egg products to many of Canada’s major grocery chains, food-service operations and large bakery customers.  

In 2000, Joe Hudson was honoured as a life member by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the year after, received the Golden Pencil Award, given out by the Food Industry Association of Canada for outstanding service in the food sector. Hudson turned 75 on July 12, 2012, and remains the very active chair and CEO of the family-owned company.

Dr. Peter Hunton
HuntonbwPeter Hunton was born in Newcastle on Tyne, England. He obtained his B.Sc. in Agriculture (Honors) from Durham University’s King’s College, and his M.Sc. from Wye College, University of London, where he specialized in poultry science and genetics.

While working for Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms in Canada, Hunton was awarded his PhD from the University of London. Hunton spent his career working for Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms, Ross Poultry, and the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board as poultry specialist 1980. He retired from the OEPMB (now Egg Farmers of Ontario) in 2001.

Dr. Peter Hunton has edited a book and written numerous articles about poultry production, including many for Canadian Poultry magazine.

Throughout his career and for many years after retirement, he wrote articles for trade journals that made science understandable to the industry. He also wrote scientific articles and contributed to major textbooks, including Poultry Production (as editor)  in 1995.

Hunton was the World Poultry Science Association’s (WPSA) Canada Branch president, and later international vice-president, senior vice-president, and president. He led the successful bid for the XXI World Poultry Congress in Canada. During his time as WPSA president, he travelled widely on association business to increase membership and branch formation, especially in South America. Hunton also attended symposia organized by branches of the European Federation, Australia, India and Bangladesh. For 45 years he has been an enthusiastic supporter of WPSA in all of its endeavours, and most recently led the committee to provide online access to the journal by all members.

Dr. Steven Leeson
SteveLeesonFor nearly 40 years, Dr. Steven Leeson has been a fixture in the world of poultry providing new insights in the area of nutrition. Though broad in its scope, his research is traditionally focused on the energy metabolism of broilers, feeding programs for layer hens and creating nutritionally enriched eggs.

Dr. Steven Leeson is internationally renowned for his work in the area of poultry nutrition.  

Leeson is a native of England, and received an MPhil in 1971 and a PhD in 1974, both from the University of Nottingham. Following graduation, he travelled with his wife Anne to the University of Guelph, originally for a one-year post-doctoral study with Dr. John Summers. But Leeson was offered a faculty position at Guelph in 1977 in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, where he has remained. He became chair of the department in 2005 and served in that role until 2010.

His impact stretches beyond research, however, because he has mentored more than 20 graduate students (including the editor), while playing an integral role in undergraduate education at the University of Guelph. He has taught and designed courses on poultry production and nutrition as well as introductory courses in animal science at the diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Leeson’s contributions to poultry science have not gone unnoticed, as he has been presented with numerous awards for his research, including the American Feed Manufacturers Nutrition Research Award, the Distinguished Research Award (Ontario Agricultural College), a Service in Extension and Public Service Award (Canadian Society of Animal Science), the Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship, the Poultry Industry Council’s Poultry Worker of the Year award and many others.

He has written more than 320 articles in refereed journals, 80 articles in trade journals, and five books, including a revision of M.L. Scott’s The Nutrition of the Chicken with John Summers. He’s also given more than 600 presentations on the topic of poultry and animal sciences.

George Nicholas
nicholas-1984George Nicholas intuitively knew that a single mutation he found in his flock would change the turkey industry.
George Nicholas was born in San Francisco on April 30, 1916. He moved with his family to a poultry farm near Petaluma, Calif., when he was nine years old.

He soon started raising slaughter turkeys. At the age of 16, Nicholas was named California’s first Future Farmers of America Star Farmer because of his outstanding achievements in turkey production. The profits from his farming went towards tuition at the University of California, Davis, where he graduated in poultry science in 1937.

In 1939, he purchased a 175-acre farm near Vineburg, California with Johnny Nicholas, starting Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms.

When George found a single white poult in the early 1950s, he knew he had found something important. By crossing this white bird with the bronze variety, he eliminated the unsightly, inky pinfeathers on the meat. The Nicholas breed – the white turkey – has now become the industry standard.

Over the years, he added new lines, developing a faster-growing turkey with better feed conversion. His higher-efficiency birds reduced the cost of production and made turkey more affordable for everyone, shifting expensive, seasonal meat to a bird that could be enjoyed throughout the year.

Nicholas Farms became the first turkey business to hire scientists – geneticists, nutritionists and avian veterinarians – for turkey research and development. Their advancements led to the development of many of today’s artificial insemination techniques. Through his efforts, the company developed into a multimillion-dollar pedigree turkey breeding business that put Sonoma County on the map.

In 1978, Nicholas expanded the company to Europe. Based in Scotland, Nicholas Europa Ltd. imported eggs from California and supplied turkey breeding stock and technical support to European and Middle Eastern countries.

In 1983, he became the first turkey breeder to be inducted into the Poultry Industry Hall of Fame in Maryland.

Nicholas died in 1984, but his Sonoma-based company continues to be a major international player in breeding turkeys.

Dr. Frank Robinson
Frank-Robinson-teachingAward-winner, trail-blazing researcher, author – all of these descriptions and more fit Dr. Frank Robinson. As a professor of poultry production and physiology at the University of Alberta for many years, Robinson is still tirelessly exploring new ways of bringing people to the research and research to the people.

Dr. Frank Robinson was inducted into the AlbertaAgriculture Hall of Fame in 2006.
Robinson’s research career has placed an emphasis on the reproductive efficiency of broiler breeders, something that captured his curiosity early on. He also does research to create what he calls “owner’s manuals” for new lines of chickens.  
Robinson is associate chair of his university’s agricultural, food and nutritional science department and director of its Poultry Research Centre – a research institute for which he was a major fundraising force back in 1998. It was and still is a very innovative facility, one that includes a processing plant and hatchery. In 2004, Robinson accepted the World Poultry Science Association Education Award in recognition of the centre. 

Preservation of heritage stock is an important function at the facility, and Robinson remains concerned about the genetic vulnerability of our commercial flocks. He also believes we need more poultry research in Canada, with an emphasis on having a national and an international scope.

When he is not researching and teaching, Robinson gives presentations across Canada and around the world. Over the last two years, he has also co-authored two books for poultry farmers. His contribution to education has been acknowledged with 14 awards. His dedicated fellow poultry faculty members, known around the university as the Coop of Seven, have received three other group awards over the last five years. Together they have helped to turn out practically trained students who have strong problem-solving skills and are able to think on their feet.

In 2004, the University of Alberta also presented Robinson with the Rutherford Award for Excellence, a teaching award that carries quite a bit of prestige on a campus with more than 1,900 faculty members.

However, many would say that no matter how many awards are won by Robinson and his team, his continued dedication and enthusiasm for his work makes the Canadian poultry industry the real winner.  

Robinson was appointed as interim vice-provost and dean of students beginning July 1, 2008.

Col. Harland Sanders
Col-SandersColonel Harland Sanders, a pioneer of “Finger Lickin’ Good” chicken.
Born on Sept. 9, 1890, in Indiana, Harland Sanders was the oldest of three children. His father – a coalminer in Kentucky – died when Sanders was only six, leaving him to help look after his family. He showed an early talent for cooking while his mother worked in the local shirt factory. 

Harland eventually held jobs as a farmhand and a streetcar operator; he worked on the railroad and the riverboats.
In the early 1930s he opened a gas station in Corbin, Ky. Word of mouth had travellers stopping at the gas station to sample his cooking. He soon opened a restaurant – Sanders Court and Café – across the street where he started working on his now famous coating recipe.

Harland started experimenting with a pressure cooker in the ’30s, finding the right cooking times, the right pressure and the right shortening temperature to produce his signature southern fried chicken without deep-frying.

His secret recipe – an “original blend of 11 herbs and spices,” made him famous in Kentucky. In 1935, Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon made Sanders a “colonel” for his efforts.

But in the early 1950s, plans diverted the highway around Corbin and Sanders closed the restaurant.

Sixty-five years old and penniless, he had a choice: he could subsist on his $105-a-month pension or he could take his fast-food chicken to the world, offering a “finger lickin’ good” alternative to hamburgers and hotdogs.

In 1952, Col. Sanders took to the road – secret recipe stored in his head and bags of his special coating mix stored in his car – ready to cook for restaurant owners. He convinced them to produce fast-food chicken and pay him a nickel for every chicken they sold. The Kentucky Fried Chicken – KFC – franchising business was born. 

By 1964, over 600 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada had signed on, with several owned and operated by the late Dave Thomas, eventual founder of Wendy’s.

At the age of 74, Sanders sold his interest in the company for $2 million. 

Sanders died in 1980 and the secret recipe still remains a secret, locked securely in the company safe. 

KFC serves more than a billion of the colonel’s “finger lickin’ good” chicken dinners annually in Canada, approximately 25 per cent of the total Canadian production for 1.7- to 1.8-kilogram broilers.

Milo and Ross Shantz
Ross-ShantzRoss Shantz in the early days of the enterprise.

Hybrid Turkeys began operations in the early 1950s with 500 commercial meat turkeys. Since then, Hybrid has grown so that today, the company is one of only two major turkey-breeding companies worldwide.




Milo-Shantz-June-2007Milo Shantz in 2007.

Milo Shantz was born in New Hamburg, Ont., in 1932 and Ross in 1939. The Shantzes’ early involvement in the poultry business led to the development of Hybrid Turkeys in 1970, which now encompassed two pedigree complexes and two hatcheries in Canada, and multiple farms in Canada and France.

Hybrid soon became one of the largest primary breeders of turkeys in the world and sold breeding stock and other products in more than 40 countries. In 1981, Hybrid Turkeys was sold to Hendrix International of the Netherlands. Ross served for the first five years as president and served five years on the board of directors

Donald Shaver
ShaverDonald (Don) McQueen Shaver is an extraordinary ambassador for Canada whose numerous honours and awards
have brought prestige to Canadian agriculture. Shaver was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1978, promoted to an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1990 and was one of the first to be recognized in the International Poultry Hall of Fame in Nagoya, Japan, in 1988.

Donald Shaver is a singular figure in the Canadian poultry industry and is cited as being “one of the country’s foremost leaders in increasing efficiency in food production.”

Dr. Peter Hunton wrote in a 2001 article in Canada Poultryman that Shaver was born in Galt (now Cambridge), Ont., on Aug. 12, 1920. The interest in poultry breeding began at the age of 12 when he received two chicks as a gift and soon after bought 15 more that he bred, entered in a 350-day Canadian National Egg Laying contest, which he won. He gained more chicken breeding experience through a government-sponsored Record of Performance project and then began his first hatchery, Grand Valley Breeders.

From 1940 to 1945, Shaver served with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces in Africa and Europe. While he was in the armed forces, his breeding stock was destroyed by a fire, but upon his return in 1946 he revived his hatchery.

Shaver’s long-term aim to produce a layer more prolific than any other was achieved in 1954 with the Shaver Starcross 288, so named for the number of eggs it laid in one of the initial tests, which surpassed other breeders. Building upon this success, he entered the export market with sales of chickens to the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. When he retired as CEO of Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms in 1985, his company was operating in 94 countries.

In “Donald McQueen Shaver: Pioneer in Canada’s Poultry Industry,” Peter Hunton reports that one of the highlights of the 2001 World’s Poultry Congress in Montreal was the presentation by Shaver at the opening ceremony. This took the form of an eloquent plea for action in the field of germplasm conservation, which has become one of his most important crusades since his retirement from the commercial industry.

Max Tishler
Tishler1963Max Tishler’s discovery of the effect of sulphaquinoxaline on coccidiosis was an enormous contribution to modern poultry production.

It was the terrible 1918 Spanish flu outbreak that decided the career of then 12-year-old Max Tishler – a man whose discoveries made valuable contributions both to human health and to agriculture, particularly to poultry.

Tishler obtained his PhD in chemistry at Harvard University by 1934, and after teaching there for the next few years, he joined a small pharmaceutical company. This firm, called Merck and Company, would become one of the largest drug companies in the world.

Merck scientists had isolated a number of vitamins and hormones important to human health, but a way to produce them economically in large quantities was needed. That’s where Tishler came in. He developed a new large-scale manufacturing process for several vitamins, as well as cortisone and some amino acids, some of which were important in animal diets.

He also developed ways to manufacture some human and animal antibiotics, and developed vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella. In all, Tishler filed more than 100 patents

It was in the early 1940s that he made his significant poultry-related discovery – sulphaquinoxaline. Tishler observed that sulpha drugs had a negative effect on intestinal parasites in poultry, and found sulphaquinoxaline to be the first effective antibiotic for the treatment of coccidiosis. He discovered that small doses over a long period of time would prevent it entirely.

Tishler and his associates developed a mass production method, which made it possible for modern-day intensive poultry production to flourish. While his name may not be instantly recognizable to poultry producers, Tishler’s contribution to the sector is enormous. In all, Tishler spent 32 years with Merck and Company, retiring in 1970 and taking a position at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he later became chair of the chemistry department. Tishler achieved professor emeritus status in 1975 and continued to enjoy his work almost until his death in 1989 at the age of 82.

Hon. Eugene Whelan
WhelenaloneAs the father of supply management, Eugene Whelan, with the help of then prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Bill Stewart, then Ontario’s minister of agriculture, proclaimed the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency in 1973, the National Turkey Marketing Agency in 1974 and the National Chicken Broiler Agency in 1976.

The late Honourable Eugene Whelan is still widely recognized as “The Father of Supply Management.”

Born in 1924 in Amherstburg, Ont., Whelan began his political career began with the local school board at 21. A mixed farmer and trained tool and die maker, he entered politics because he “wanted farmers to have a bigger say,” starting as the reeve of Anderdon Township and warden of Essex County in 1962.

He was defeated in his first Ontario election in 1959 but followed with successful terms at the federal level from 1962 to 1984.

He chaired the House of Commons agriculture committee from 1965 to 1968 and served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and forestry from 1968 to 1970. In 1972, he was appointed federal minister of agriculture, a position he held almost continuously until 1984. Whelan also served in the Canadian Senate from 1996 to 1999.

In addition to political offices, Whelan was director and president of the Harrow Farmers Co-op, and director of the United Co-operatives of Ontario, the Co-operators Insurance Company and the Ontario Winter Wheat Producers Marketing Board.

Among many other honours, he is an officer of the Order of Canada and received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He was inducted into the Canadian and Ontario Agriculture Halls of fame. In 1983 he received an honorary doctorate of law degree from the University of Windsor.

Whelan has also been an active representative of Canada internationally through the World Food Program and the United Nations.

But Eugene Whelan’s proudest moments came when he travelled through the countryside. “I remember those communities 40 or 50 years ago. You didn’t see nice farms and well-kept homesteads. It makes me proud to think ‘maybe I had a little bit to do with it.’

“The whole principle of supply management is producing what the market will bear, especially when you’re dealing with biological entities – perishable products. You can’t just produce products and hope to God somebody’s going to buy them.

“We showed farmers how to make a decent profit . . . and from there – it’s history.”

Senator Whelan and his wife Elizabeth were married for over 43 years and have three daughters: Theresa, Susan and Catherine.

The honourable Eugene Whelan passed away on Feb. 19, 2013 in his home in Amherstburg, Ont.

Ted Wiens
Ted-Wiens-photo1Ted Wiens had a way with people. This not only defined him personally, it became his legacy to the poultry industry according to many of the people who worked with him over the years.

He was initially against establishing an egg marketing board in Saskatchewan, but once it was established Wiens supported it fully. He eventually served as chair, and provided excellent representation at both the provincial and national levels as Saskatchewan’s CEMA representative. Wiens also spent many years on the processors side, and was instrumental in shaping some major decisions for CPEPC, including his term as president from 1977 to 1978.

Wiens’ career in poultry began in 1967 when he approached Safeway with a plan to supply table eggs. He was involved in his family’s trucking business at the time. Safeway agreed, so he moved his wife Hilda and sons Bob and Tim to Regina, where he built a 40,000-egg layer unit and O and T Poultry Farms was born. The company grew rapidly and in 1975, the trucking business was sold. Over the years, the family built the business to become one of the largest production units in Western Canada. The Wienses also built a grading station and feed mill, and bought an equipment company in Manitoba.

Ted Wiens was a man many remember for his strong opinions, strong values and good character.

In the late 1980s, Wiens looked outside of Canada’s borders. He purchased a majority share in Agdevco from the Saskatchewan government to continue promoting Saskatchewan’s agricultural expertise in developing countries. “O and T Agdevco” led him to projects in Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and Russia.

Sadly, he was killed in an accident on a business trip in the Bahamas in 1993 while negotiating a deal to buy Gladstone Farms, a fully integrated broiler operation in Nassau.

In 1993, the Canadian Western Agribition dedicated its “Sale of Champions” to him. “The whole agriculture industry lost something special when Ted had his accident,” said then executive vice-president Wayne Gamble.

“Ted was one of a kind,” says longtime friend and colleague Harold Crossman, summing up the thoughts of many of the people in the industry who knew him. “Whether you agreed with him or not, you parted as friends.”