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AG e-news February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Wednesday, February 5 – There is a special seminar for Food and Human Nutritional Sciences students featuring alumna Melonie Stoughton, HACCP Technical Advisor, Industry Services, Canadian Grain Commission on the topic “How to have an exciting and rewarding career in agricultural and food sciences (when your goal in life was to do anything but) “. Refreshments and mingling in Atrium at 5:30 pm, presentation at 6:00 pm in Room 130 Agriculture Building. RSVP to FHNS [dot] generalenquiries [at] umanitoba [dot] ca by February 4.

February 5-6 – The Manitoba Swine Seminar is taking place at the Victoria Inn Winnipeg. This annual meeting hosts presentations for the pork industry, and Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, will be presenting on the topic “Canadian Pig Production Practices Survey for Improved Economic and Environmental Viability”. The MSS organizing committee includes Martin Nyachoti and Chengbo Yang, Animal Science. Learn more at

Thursday, February 6 – There will be an Advanced Plant Science Seminar on “Establishment of Habitat Conservation for Ecosystem Services in Agriculturally Dominated Lands” presented by Farnaz Kordbacheh, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba. Seminar will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 3 p.m. Everyone welcome!

Thursday, February 6 – The Robert and Elizabeth Knight Distinguished Visiting Lecture will be delivered this year by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, University of Washington, on the topic “White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism” from 3-5 pm in the Investors Group Athletic Centre (with livestreaming at the Frederic Gaspard Theatre, Bannatyne Campus).  Doors open at 2pm, rush seating. RSVP is required by emailing rsvp [at] umanitoba [dot] ca – please indicate which location you will be attending.

February 6-7 – The 2020 Manitoba Soil Science Society Annual General Meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn South, 1330 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg. Details are available at

Monday, February 10Dr. Gary Glavin, Associate Vice-President (Research), will be presenting a one hour session on the Responsible Conduct of Research as a refresher at 2:00 pm in Rm 130 Agriculture, and will be available to answer any questions. It is highly recommended that all faculty, research associates and post-docs attend.

Tuesday, February 11 – The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day with a special event – Coffee on the Farm for Seniors.  Do you know a group of seniors who would like to tour a Manitoba farm close to Winnipeg? Tour will include the FFDC and the new Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Complex.  Bookings available for 10 am – 12 noon or 1 pm to 3 pm. Cost $6.50 per person, and includes coffee and snacks. Email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or call 204-883-2524 today.

Tuesday, February 11 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Chaminda Weeraddana, Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba on “Abiotic and biotic factors influencing host-plant use of a generalist herbivore, bertha armyworm, Mamestra configurata Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on canola.” .  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Thursday, February 13 – There will be an Advanced Plant Science Seminar on “Agricultural Options for Sustainable Crop Production and Soil Management Under Climate Change” presented by Taras Lychuk, Research Scientist Brandon Research & Development Center, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Brandon, MB. Seminar will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 3 p.m. Everyone welcome!

February 18 – CIFST Manitoba presents their annual Student Career Night 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm in Room 130 Agriculture Building with pizza dinner provided. Guest speaker Carly Isaak will present, followed by a panel of guests to discuss their experience and advice regarding the start of their careers. The program will include a Speed Resume Session where students will have a chance to present their resumes and career goals one-on-one with food professionals working in various capacities in the food industry, academia and government. The Speed Resume session will run concurrently with a workshop covered by Kalynn Spain, a Coop, and Job Placement Coordinator. Students will have the opportunity to participate in both activities. FREE for CIFST members in good standing, $5 for Non-Members. Space is limited, RSVP by February 11 –

Wednesday, February 19 – There will be a Special Plant Science Seminar and Conversation on the topic “The Albrecht System: What is it and Does it Work?” presented by Dr. Tim Reinbott, Assistant Director MOAES, Director of Field Operations, Director of Sanborn Field, University of Missouri, at 11:00 am in the Seminar Room 218 Agriculture Building.

February 24-27 – The 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Heats #1 and #2 will feature three students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences! Come cheer on the presentations of Magnolia Pretell-Bocángel (Human Nutritional Sciences), Xiang Li (Food Science), and Jessica Nicksy (Soil Science). Winners from these heats move on to the final competition on March 24. Schedule and location at

Tuesday, February 25 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Pedro Peres Neto, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Concordia University on “What controls which species where? Space, time and future”.  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, February 25 – The Department of Animal Science will be hosting a Special Seminar in honour of Dr. T. K. Cheung, a former student of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences who has made significant contributions to the Department of Animal Science. Our guest speaker this year is Dr. Michael H. Kogut, USDA Agricultural Research Service who will be giving a talk in 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am.  The title of his talk is “Gut Health: The Paradigm in Animal Health and Disease”. All are welcome to attend.

February 25-27 –  The 7th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop and 5th Transboundary Grasslands Partnership Workshop will feature plenary sessions, breakout sessions, case studies, trade show, a poster session and more! Topics include species at risk, habitat restoration invasive species, industry reclamation, remediation, soils, native seeds, public engagement, urban and wetland restoration, weed management and more. Spaces are limited this year and we expect to fill up. Registration fees include coffee breaks, lunches and more. Visit

Wednesday, February 26 – The next seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be presented by Dr. Timi Ojo, Agricultural Systems Modeller, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Theatre, Rm 130 Agriculture Building.. His title is “Forging a New Path in Weather Monitoring for Agriculture in Manitoba”.  Refreshments available at 3 pm in the atrium.

Thursday, February 27 – There is a workshop aimed at Early Career Researchers (but all types of researchers are welcome and encouraged to attend) at the University of Winnipeg from 9 am to 3 pm. This event is free and lunch is provided. RSVP is required – please email  j [dot] orr [at] uwinnipeg [dot] ca to confirm attendance (and dietary requirements) by February 14. Early Career Researcher Day, jointly offered by the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, brings emerging researchers together with experienced grant writers and funding experts to interactively explore the research lifecycle.

Thursday, February 27 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Frank Rinkevich, USDA ARS, Baton Rouge, Louisiana on “Varroa and Pesticides: A Battle for Honey Bee Colony Survival”  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Wednesday, March 4 –  Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development is hosting a Learn and Lead Seminar – Human Resources and the Board at the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon. The daylong event will help participants identify human resource factors that affect agriculture organizations, and will feature multiple speaker sessions. More details at Register by February 26. There is a registration fee of $50 per person, which includes lunch and nutrition breaks. Reserve your spot today by emailing leadership [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca or by calling at 204-762-2702.

Wednesday, March 4FCC Ignite will take place at Victoria Inn Winnipeg at 9:30 am (lunch is included) with a networking reception at 3:30 pm. The FCC Young Farmer Summit will empower you to take control of your business journey. Get real-world advice to help you set and achieve goals and connect with other future leaders like you. Anyone under 40 involved in agriculture, agribusiness or agri-food will benefit. To register for this free event, click here –

Thursday, March 5 – The 2020 Manitoba Young Farmers Conference organized by Keystone Agricultural Producers in collaboration with Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum will take place 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at Victoria Inn Winnipeg. The focus of the MYF Conference is improving efficiencies at the farm level, with speakers Evan Shout and Mitch Rezansoff sharing practical strategies that apply to all farm operations. The day will also include a knowledge exchange session, where farmers of all ages will share what has made their farms successful. $50 conference pass includes lunch and two refreshment breaks. Learn more and register at

Thursday, March 5 – There will be an Advanced Plant Science Seminar on “Microbial Diversity in the Aquatic Environment: Experiences with Function and Sequence-based Metagenomics” presented by Dr. Miguel Uyaguari-Diaz, Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba. Seminar will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 3 p.m. Everyone welcome!

March 5-6 – The 2020 Prairie Organics: Think Whole Farm conference coming up in Brandon, Manitoba will highlight two full days of presentations, a large tradeshow and pre-arranged B2B meetings. Martin Entz, Plant Science, is presenting on “Healthy soils, plants, animals, people, and planet. How the organic community is leading the way, even when times are tough”. Early-bird registration has been extended to February 15 – register by then and pay only $200 (couples only pay $350). The poster submission deadline has also been extended to February 12. For more information you can email prairieorganicconference [at] gmail [dot] com or  visit

Saturday, March 14 – Bring the family down to Discover Agriculture in the City, a free event featuring interactive displays from key organizations in the agriculture industry that will take place downtown at the Forks Market from 10 am to 4 pm. This event allows urban Canadians to explore and discover the important role agriculture plays in their lives. Come see the University of Manitoba Food Fight at 10 am in the South Atrium featuring our very own food product development students. For more information, visit

March 23-24 – The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary, AB. Learn more and register at

June 3 to 5  – The Canadian Food Summit themed “Called to the Table – Ideas to Action” will be at the Delta Hotel in downtown Winnipeg hosted by the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology. At this summit, responding to the Senate Report on Agri-food and the Economic Strategy Tables, the aim is to build a collaborative strategy to use our national food science community to meet these challenges and grow Canadian food’s presence in the world. More details at



Dilantha Fernando, Professor, Plant Science and Dean of Studies, St. Paul’s College, was invited to the Professor Cyril Ponnamperuma Memorial International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research to give a talk on new biotechnological methods available to improve crop health and crop productivity. Dilantha’s talk was titled “CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to improve crop health in the arms race between a host and pathogen”. Dilantha was the only agriculture scientist invited to this conference to cover the area of agriculture development. The conference was held in the picturesque city of Kandy, Sri Lanka at the National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of Prof. Cyril Ponnamperuma, a legend in Sri Lankan science. Prof. Ponnamperuma was the second Director of the NIFS and an eminent researcher in the field of chemical evolution. His career focused on explorations into the origin of life and the “primordial soup” that contained the precursors of life. Prof. Ponnamperuma was the principal investigator for analysis of lunar soil brought to earth by Project Apollo. Subsequently, he was associated with the Viking and Voyager programs at NASA and was a member of the Space Science Advisory Council and Life Sciences Advisory Council of NASA. He was a distinguished professor at  University of Maryland College Park, USA. The conference was held to commemorate his services to the world and to Sri Lanka as a distinguished scientist. The conference organizers had invited six distinguished scientists (of Sri Lankan origin), each from a different discipline to give talks at this conference. Dilantha was the only scientist invited to represent the field of agriculture.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, will chair the Office of Scientific Quality Review’s peer review panel NP 306 Panel 2 – Wheat Quality (2019) following the invitation by the Director of USDA/ARS Office of Scientific Quality Review (OSQR).The scientific review panel will examine four proposed project plans based in Washington, Kansas, North Dakota, and Ohio and dealing with Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products in their Nutrition, Food Safety, and Product Quality & New Uses National Program.

Joanne Thiessen Martens, Ph.D. student in Soil Science, was invited to speak at the Manitoba Forage Seed Conference in Winnipeg on January 17. Her presentation was titled “Closing the Loop: Can Struvite Fertilizer Help Fix the Broken Phosphorus Cycle?” and included results from her current research, as well as past work in the Faculty.



Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Manure: The gift that keeps on giving” in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 29) –

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Finding the fit for premium fertilizer products” in Grainews (January 27) –

Mario was also  interviewed by Farmscape (January 27) in the article “Canadian Pig Production Practices Survey for Improved Economic and Environmental Viability Ready for Launch” – read or listen to the interview at



Xiang, J., Yang, C., Beta, T., Liu, S., Yang, R. (2019) Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of the edible tree peony flower and underlying mechanisms of preventive effect on H2O2-induced oxidative damage in Caco-2 cells. Foods  2019, 8 (10), 471.



Ready to take action to save our planet? Put your thinking caps on because the University of Manitoba is participating in Invent for the Planet on February 14 to 16. Invent for the Planet, a 48-hour, sustainability-focused international idea and design competition, is open to all students (undergraduate and graduate) from all faculties and post-secondary institutions across Manitoba. In the competition, interdisciplinary student teams of four to six are tasked with solving issues in areas such as waste management, food security, environment, education, digital technology, agriculture, and medicine/medical systems and delivery. The event provides an opportunity for students to network with industry professionals; meet new friends; develop presentation, problem-solving and designing skills; and add a dynamic accomplishment to a resume or CV. Cash prizes are up for grabs. The winner of the UM competition will have the opportunity to present their idea to Texas A&M University judges on behalf of the University. Learn more and sign up at

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, has launched the application process for a first Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. A group of young Canadians will provide valuable advice on agriculture and agri-food issues that matter most to them – everything from sustainable agriculture, market diversification and innovation, to the digital shift, intergenerational transfers and mental health. Women and men aged 18 to 30 working within the agriculture and agri-food value chain, who are interested in shaping the future of the sector, are encouraged to apply by visiting and completing an online application. The application deadline is February 14, 2020.


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