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AG e-news February 24, 2017

February 27, 2017 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.


Saturday, February 25 – The stellar vocal faculty of the Desautels Faculty of Music will present the world premiere of “A Prairie Boy’s Life”, a new musical work by John Greer [BMus/76] that is based on William Kurelek’s [BA/49] two illustrated books a Prairie Boy’s Winter and a Prairie Boy’s Summer. In this performance, supported in part by the Canada Council of the Arts, the U of M ensemble will explore prairie life in Manitoba through the eyes of a young Kurelek, who grew up on a farm north of Winnipeg in the middle of the twentieth century. Though much has changed since Kurelek’s youth, the essence of his Manitoban upbringing, often dominated by the weather and the cycle of the seasons, still resonates with today’s prairie dwellers of all ages. The performance will take place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery at 7:30 p.m. and it will feature singers Tracy Dahl, Monica Huisman, Donna Fletcher, Sarah Jo Kirsch, Rosemarie van der Hooft, Lois Watson-Lyons, Robert MacLaren, James McLennan, Mel Braun, and pianists Laura Loewen and John Greer.  Tickets available at

Tuesday, February 28 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Claudio Stasolla, Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba, on “The beauty of death in plant survival”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building.

Tuesday, February 28 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled “The impact of dairy SFA on genetics, gut microbiome and fatty acids metabolism; a multi-approach to understanding the impact of dairy fats on cardiovascular health” will be presented by graduate student Ethendhar Rajendiran at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.

Tuesday, February 28 – Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to a special event that will highlight the University of Manitoba’s 140th anniversary celebration. The celebration will feature an outdoor winter festival and an opportunity to honour our past, present and future, as well as recognize Canada’s 150th birthday. The day includes a Sunrise Ceremony, a pancake breakfast, and a formal ceremony at the Administration Building at 12:30 pm, which will include birthday cake! See the full slate of events at

Tuesday, February 28 – Join the Asper School of Business for an informative discussion with business, community and government leaders with expertise in Indigenous business and community engagement as we explore the opportunities that lay ahead in building a strong Manitoba. 20/20 Vision – Indigenous Participation: Key to the Success of Manitoba’s Economy will take place from 5:30 to 6:45 pm in343 Drake Centre, with networking reception showcasing Feast Foods to follow. RSVP to asper_cdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.  See the full event details at

Wednesday, March 1 – A Soil Science Seminar will take place at 12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Marla Reikman, Soil Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, will present “Monitoring Soil Moisture in Manitoba.”

Wednesday, March 1 – Prairies CWSE, the Faculty of Science, and the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources are hosting acclaimed Canadian scientist Susan R. Eaton for a guest lecture. “Into the Snorkel Zone: From Antarctica to the Arctic” will take place at 3 pm in 224 Education Building at the Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba. Susan R. Eaton is a geologist, geophysicist, journalist, polar snorkeler and conservationist based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  In 2016, Eaton was named one of Canada’s greatest 25 women explorers by Canadian Geographic and elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Among many other accomplishments, Susan is the founder and leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition (, an organization comprised of an international team of female ocean scientists, explorers, journalists, movie-makers, educators and scuba diving professionals. RSVP to lena [dot] yusim [at] umanitoba [dot] ca – all are welcome.

Wednesday, March 1 – The seventh seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Selena Randall, Associate Director, Planning and Development, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, will present “Made in Manitoba – Mining Big Data for Population Research”. Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Wednesday, March 1 – Did you know that March is Nutrition Month? The Nutrition Education and Community Outreach (NECO) Committee and Human Nutritional Sciences presents #uofmnutritionmonth2017, and they want YOU involved! This year’s theme is “Take the Fight out of Food!” They have planned interactive booths, contests, Instagram Contest, a bannock making session (March 1 at 3:30 pm in Migizii Agamik), and a Body Talks workshop (see March 16 below).  Follow along and participate on Facebook (@uofm_neco), Twitter (@uofm_neco), and Instagram (@uofm_neco) using the hashtag #uofmnutritionmonth2017 throughout the month of March!

Thursday, March 2 – An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Robert Graf, Research Scientist, Winter Wheat Breeding, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge AB, will be presenting “Breeding Winter Wheat for Resistance to Pests in Western Canada”.  All are welcome to attend. Coffee at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

Tuesday, March 7 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Jordan Dahmer, M.Sc. student,  will make the extension presentation “Extending the grazing season for beef cattle”. Vidura Senaratne, M.Sc. student, will make the scientific presentation “Phosphorus digestibility and utilization in dairy cows”. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 7 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled “Structure-function properties of pea protein-derived peptides with inhibitory activities against gastrointestinal enzymes” will be presented by graduate student Temitola Awosika at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.

Wednesday, March 8 – The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Manitoba Canola Growers and Cargill present a special seminar entitled “The Science of Science Communication: Why Audience, Message, and Stories Matter” with Dr. Jennifer Gardy, Senior Scientist, BC Centre for Disease Control, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Canada Research Chair in Public Health Genomics at 12:30 pm in the Richardson International Auditorium, 172 Agriculture Building. Refreshments at 12 noon. Event is free but we ask you RSVP to agfoodsci [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Thursday, March 9 – An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Mitch Rezansoff, Integrated Solutions Manager, Enns Brothers, will be presenting “Big Data and Agriculture”.  All are welcome to attend. Coffee at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

Friday, March 10 – There will be a Budget Model Redesign Initiative update session from 2:00 to 3:30 pm in Senate Chambers, Room E3-262, EITC.  Feedback is welcomed.

Tuesday, March 14 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Marla Spivak, Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota (DEGSA Invited Speaker, Endowment Fund Speaker Series) on “Socialized Medicine in Honey Bee Colonies”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building.

Tuesday, March 14 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled “The effect of non-nutritive sweeteners on glucose metabolism and gut microbiome” will be presented by graduate student Samar Ahmad at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.

Wednesday, March 15 – A Soil Science Seminar will take place at 12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Dr. Timi Ojo, Agricultural Meteorology Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, will present “Understanding Scale Issues in Soil Moisture Monitoring.”

Thursday, March 16 – The Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s Health, Leisure, and Human Performance Research Institute (HLHPRI) presents Body Talks: Chat with the Experts: “Take the Fight out of Food Stress”, an interactive session presented by Semone Myrie, Human Nutritional Sciences and Jorie Jansen, Director of Sport Dietetics, Canadian Sport Centre, from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. in the Active Living Centre Agora. Admission is free! Do you ever get frustrated by food and nutrition? Maybe you can’t figure out why you feel bloated after eating certain foods, unsure about which foods are best for a particular health condition. These can be referred to as “food fights” – they represent times when you struggle with yourself or others about what to eat. “Take the Fight out of Food” – it’s exactly what we as dietitians do every day! Nutrition Month 2017’s campaign from Dietitians of Canada guides people through a three-step approach to improve their relationship with food, no matter what the struggle.

April 24-26 – The Agricultural Institute of Canada will be holding its 2017 conference in Winnipeg. The theme is “Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Environment”. The conference will foster important discussions among policy makers, industry stakeholders, entrepreneurs and the research community about agriculture’s impact on the environment in a changing climate. AIC 2017 will also showcase world-class innovative research taking place across Canada and explore how green growth in the sector can build on a strong scientific, evidence-based foundation. Visit to stay up to date.

Friday, May 5MCWESTT 2017, a local, one-day conference dedicated to connecting women in engineering, science, trades, and technology, and empowering them to Create, Foster, and Lead. Master of Ceremonies for the day will be Winnipeg based comedian Dana Smith, and keynote speakers include Susan Auch, Shari Graydon and Sarah Neville. Register before Friday, March 10th to receive the limited-time early bird pricing – For the first time ever, MCWESTT 2017 is offering a full day pre-conference workshop on Thursday, May 4. The WinSETT Effective Communication workshop will be facilitated by Edna Dach with guest speakers Trish Jordan and Dawn Nedohin-Macek. Thanks to the generous partnership of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering – Prairies, this workshop is available at a significantly discounted rate of only $75, exclusively for our conference participants. Be sure to register early as the workshop is limited to only 30 participants.



We were saddened to learn of the passing of Norval Young and Andy Sirski, two alumni and good friends of the Faculty.  Norval Young (CSA/50, MSc/55) was the former President of FeedRite and an outstanding leader in the animal feeding industry. He is also honoured with the Norval C. Young Graduate Fellowship that is awarded to outstanding grad students who are studying animal nutrition. He passed away on February 14 at age 89 –  Andy Sirski (BSA/70), who was the former editor of Grainews and former farm business management specialist, passed away on February 10 at age 73 –

The Manitoba Canola Growers Association has awarded Dr. Carla Taylor with the 2017 Canola Award of Excellence for her contributions to the canola industry. Carla and her collaborator Dr. Peter Zahradka and their team of trainees and staff at the Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, have been researching the health benefits of canola oil for more than a decade. Carla was presented with the award at Crop Connect Conference last week. Read more at

The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences was one of 22 successful applicants for funding through the Indigenous Initiatives Fund, a program that advances the  University’s Indigenous Achievement goals. The Faculty will receive $25,000 for “Development of AGRI 3030 Indigenous Issues in Food and Agriculture and Related Learning Tools/Course Modules”. Read more about all the projects funded at

The governments of Canada and Manitoba recently announced more than $1.6 million for research projects dealing with a wide range of issues facing crop producers. One of those projects, valued at $189,000 in funds, will go to 151 Research Inc. and their partners – the University of Manitoba Electromagnetic Imaging Lab, the University of Manitoba’s Canadian Wheat Board Centre for Grain Storage Research and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute – to test remotely-monitored 3D imaging and grain drying systems able to dry grain to the desired temperature and moisture content.

Through NSERC’s Strategic Partnerships Grants Project, Ying Chen, Biosystems Engineering, will receive $369,642 over three years for her project investigating conservation agriculture, specifically, new ways to till and seed soil. Read more at

Martin Nyachoti, Animal Science, and Don Flaten, Soil Science, delivered a presentation looking at partnership opportunities relating to phosphorus and the environment at the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada’s annual student and industry networking event on February 9. Agribusiness and Animal Science diploma, undergraduate and graduate students were introduced to industry members in attendance highlighting their training and career aspirations.

Joanne Thiessen Martens, Plant Science, spoke at the Organic Alberta conference in Lacombe, AB, on February 17 on the topic of “Effective Nutrient Management: Insights from Organic Grain Farms on the Prairies.” Joanne also co-led a session on “Opportunities for Organic Grain and Beef Integration” with farmer-rancher Ben Stuart.

The Manitoba Soil Science Society gave out awards for best student presentations at the annual conference. For the first time, there was a three‐way tie for first place for best poster presentation. Sirajum Munira (U of M), Geethani Amarawansha (U of M) and Samantha Croat (NDSU) – each received a $300 first prize award. Mauli Gamhewage (U of M) received a $300 award for best oral presentation. Magda Rogalsky (U of M) and Peter O’Brien (NDSU) each received a $200 award in a tie for the second place oral presentation.



Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was quoted in the Time magazine (February 15) article entitled “You Asked: Should I Cook With Algae Oil?”-

Peter was also interviewed about the TMPLR program in the Winnipeg Free Press (February 21) –  (FreePress account required to log in)

The TMPLR program also go a lot of coverage when CTV Morning Live remote was held at the Richardson Centre. Watch the clips at:

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Changing nitrogen use to avoid taxes” in Grainews (February 21) – see page 8 at

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Phosphate products vary, but fate the same” in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 21) –

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the Western Producer (February 16) in the story “Report calls for hefty ag investment” –

Fouad Daayf, Plant Science, and Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, were quoted in the article “Verticillium Stripe: Measuring the threat” in Canola Digest Magazine (January 2017) –



Abdullah MM1, Jew S, Jones PJ. 2017. Health benefits and evaluation of healthcare cost savings if oils rich in monounsaturated fatty acids were substituted for conventional dietary oils in the United States. Nutr Rev. 2017 Feb 1.

Manimel Wadu, M., Goh, T.B., Akinremi, O.O. 2016. Response of Manitoba soils to banding phosphorus with sulphate or carbonate salts. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 96: 447 – 460.



The Endowment Fund Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is once again seeking proposals from students, alumni, and academic and support staff of the Faculty for special projects requiring funding. This year, approximately $247,000 is available to fund a variety of projects, from teaching equipment/projects to student competitions and field trips. The fund has also been allocated for visiting scientists and lecturers, conferences and workshops, and library acquisitions.Please submit an application via email to Heather Wiebe at Heather [dot] Wiebe [at] umanitoba [dot] ca by NOON Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Complete Endowment Fund details and application form are available online at:

Indigenous Scholar Applicants Welcomed – The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is seeking its first Indigenous Scholar. Application deadline is February 27, 2017. Full details including a link to the position description at

Fiscal Year End – Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2017 is just around the corner. Visit our Year End at the University website ( to review the Year End Guidelines & Schedule for 2016-17 which includes frequently asked questions, key deadline dates, checklists & your Financial Services contacts to help you through the process.

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is accepting applications for on-farm research trails and on-farm demonstration plots. We encourage on-farm projects that represent a collaboration between certified organic growers and researchers with demonstrated experience conducting research in organic agriculture. Both research and demonstration projects are encouraged. Funding of up to $5000 is available for on-farm trials and up to $2000 is available for on-farm demonstrations. Application deadline: March 15. For more information contact Iris at iris [dot] vaisman [at] prairieorganicgrain [dot] org.


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