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Turkey entrepreneur dies at 76

Milo Shantz, who began with 500 turkey poults and developed Hybrid Turkeys into one of four companies that dominated global markets, died of cancer Jan. 6 at age 76.

Hybrid Turkeys of Kitchener, Ont., is now one of two global turkey-breeding companies, each with half of the market.

After Shantz and his brother, Ross, sold Hybrid Turkeys, Milo invested heavily in developing St. Jacobs, Ont. into a tourist community featuring Mennonites.

Shantz was involved in many businesses and offered partial ownership to many employees. He owned the Ontario Livestock Exchange, the St. Jacobs and Waterloo Markets and the Stone Crock Restaurant and was involved in a beef-packing plant in Kitchener.

He was a partner with Donnie Martin and a couple of others in Shore to Shore Developments, which owned feed mills, was involved in real estate development, construction and ownership of buildings, Rothsay Concentrates and the Hoffman Meats pork-slaughtering plant. It also had plans for a poultry processing plant in Kitchener.

He owned a Mercedes dealership in Kitchener and a number of nursing homes. He partnered with one of the largest Mennonite businesses in Manitoba involved in nursing homes, and pulled out of that joint venture about 10 years ago.

Shantz for 10 years also chaired Mennonite Economic Development Associates which used entrepreneurship to improve the lives and communities for poor people in Third World countries. MEDA was considered a pioneer in the concept of micro-credit.

Funeral services for Shantz were scheduled for Jan. 9 in Waterloo, Ont.

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