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AG e-news January 21, 2019

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

January 21, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Tuesday, January 22 to Thursday, January 24Manitoba Ag Days will once again take over the Keystone Centre in Brandon. In addition to the hundreds of exhibitors, there is a seminar program which will include David Lobb, Soil Science, on “A View Below the Soil Surface – Tillage Challenges Facing Agriculture” on Tuesday and Amy Mangin, Ph.D. student in Plant Science, on “What’s all the Hype About? – Plant Growth Regulators” on Wednesday. See full schedule and other details at

Wednesday, January 23 – The Soil Science Seminar Series will feature Masoud Goharrokhi, Soil Science, at 12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building on the topic “An Overview of Sedimentation Patterns on Lake Winnipeg using Fallout Radionuclides and Particle size distribution.”

Wednesday, January 23 – The fourth seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2018-2019 Seminar Series will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Myrna Grahn, Manager, Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre will present “Canadian Centre for Food Integrity 2018 Public Trust Research: Insights to Actions – What Makes Food Information Credible?” Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, January 29 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Richard Westwood, University of Winnipeg, on “Commercial red pine forests in central Canada and changes in historic diversity of plants and Lepidoptera at a landscape level”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Wednesday, January 30 – A Plant Science Special Seminar presented by James Frey, Diversification Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture entitled “Manitoba’s Diversification Centres: Enhancing the Sustainability and Profitability of Your Food and Agri-product Value Chain” will take place at 1:15 p.m. in 218 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 1 p.m. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday, January 30 – The School of Agriculture presents a special seminar entitled “If you knew tomorrow was your last day on the farm… A conversation about succession and transition planning” with Patti Durand, P.Ag., Specialist, Agriculture Transition, Farm Credit Canada at  2:30 pm in the Richardson International Auditorium, Room 172 Agriculture Building.  Patti received her degree in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba and has worked in the Saskatchewan ag industry for more than 20 years. Her career has centered around working with farm businesses, both as an entrepreneur and lending advisor. She is an Ag Transition Specialist with FCC, allowing her to collaborate with agriculture industry partners to develop and provide farm business transition resources and advice. Spaces are limited so please register at

Wednesday, January 30 – The Food Systems Research Group research seminar and knowledge sharing series continues with the special presentation “Organic & ecological research and teaching at the University: Building on 27 years of exploration” by Martin Entz, Plant Science, at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.

Wednesday, January 30 – Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) is hosting their annual “Student Career Night” in the Agriculture Building Atrium. There are two speakers from the food industry who will share their path into the workforce, and provide career advice. The presentations are followed by a “speed resume session” where students will have the opportunity to share their resume with professionals and receive constructive feedback. This event is also a great networking opportunity! The deadline to register is January 23. Students please register at . Non-students please register at

Thursday, January 31 – An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  James Tucker, Ph.D. student in Plant Science,  will present “Application of Biotechnological Tools for Breeding Increased Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight and Lower Deoxynivalenol Content in Two-row Barley”.  All are welcome to attend. Coffee at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

Monday, February 4 – The Manitoba Farm Safety Program of Keystone Ag Producers is offering a free “Lunch then Learn” seminar focused on farm worker recruitment and orientation. KAP’s HR consultant, Janice Goldsborough, and Farm Safety Consultant, Morag Marjerison will lead the afternoon and provide basic information including legal requirements and resources needed to find and retain workers on your farm. Those who wish to attend must register to secure a spot as there are a limited number of spaces –

 February 6-7 – The 2019 Manitoba Swine Seminar takes place at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Winnipeg. One of the featured speakers is Myrna Grahn, Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Martin Nyachoti and Chengbo Yang, Animal Science, are members of the organizing committee for the MSS.   Find out more at

 February 7-8 – The 62nd Annual Manitoba Soil Science Society Meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn South, 1330 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg. Details are available at:

February 19-21 – Mark your calendars for the 12th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre. Connect with scientists, landowners, consultants, educators, nature enthusiasts, land managers, and others to share information and new approaches to conservation, agriculture and the protection of prairie landscapes and native species. Explore the conference theme of to gain a better understanding of the many changes that have shaped our prairie landscape. For more info, visi

February 21 and May 10 – The Department of Statistics is offering the following workshops: “Data Visualization Using R: Statistical Graphs and Animation” 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Thursday, February 21, 311 Machray Hall. Registration deadline: February 18. To register for this workshop, please email consulting [at] stats [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.   $30 course fee. Space is limited to 35 seats.  They are also offering “Introduction to R” 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Friday, May 10, 311 Machray Hall.  $30 course fee. Space is limited to 35 seats.  Registration deadline: May 6. To register for this workshop, please email consulting [at] stats [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.

March 11-12Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference – West 2019 will be at the Hyatt Regency Calgary. Annemieke Farenhorst, Associate Dean (Research) will be participating in a panel discussion. Learn more about the conference and registration at



Martin Scanlon has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba for a five-year term effective January 1, 2019. He brings to the position strong academic administrative skills, an exceptional research record and a deep commitment to ensuring that the Faculty continues to provide leadership in the agri-food sector. Learn more at

The Faculty was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Elmer Stobbe, retired Plant Science faculty member, on January 1, 2019. Dr. Stobbe worked at the University of Manitoba for 27 years retiring in 1995, and although he began as a weed scientist, he was well known for his pioneering research on zero tillage. He also had a strong interest in international work and spent several years in Kenya. Details of his memorial service can be found at

On December 27, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced the appointment of Digvir Jayas, Distinguished Professor and Vice-President (Research and International) to the Order of Canada.  Digvir has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.) for his advancements to agricultural practices worldwide, and for his promotion of academic and scientific research in Canada.

Soil Science adjunct professor Cindy Grant was honoured with giving the Leo Walsh Lecture in Soil Fertility at the meetings of the Soil Science Society of America this week in San Diego. Cindy is also a graduate of the Soil Science Ph.D. Program.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics,  presented at the Manitoba Forage Seed Conference on January 7 on the topic “Trade Policy Chaos?”

Kristen MacMillan, Plant Science, was an invited speaker at the Northarvest Bean Day in Fargo, ND on January 18 where she presented “Dry bean agronomy research in Manitoba” to the ~500 farmers and agronomists in attendance.

Amy Unger, M.Sc. student in Soil Science, received 3rd prize in the student poster competition at the “Soils Across Latitudes” conference held jointly by the Canadian Society of Soil Science, the Soil Science Society of America and the Mexican Society of Soil Science in San Diego last week. Amy presented the poster “Canopy Reflectance for Improved Crop Productivity and Agricultural Sustainability” (Gervais, M., Unger, A., Hanis-Gervais, K. and Bullock, P.)

Samantha Pauls, postdoctoral fellow co-supervised by Drs. Harold Aukema, Carla Taylor & Peter Zahradka, was awarded the 2018  Dr. Heinz Bohnet Travel Award in Endocrinology and Metabolic Disease by the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba. Avery Penner, summer student supervised by Dr. Harold Aukema, was awarded the 2018 Mark and Pat Smerchanski Undergraduate Student Award (St. Boniface Hospital Foundation).  Victoria Waytt, summer student supervised by Dr. Harold Aukema, was awarded the 2018 Frank and Jeanne Plett Undergraduate Student Award (St. Boniface Hospital Foundation).

The start of a new year means some people are returning or are heading out on leave.  Returning from leave are David Levin, Biosystems Engineering, and Harold Aukema, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences.  A number of faculty have started six-month leaves (January 10- June 30, 2019) – Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering; Miyoung Suh, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences; Usha Thiyam, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences; and Doug Cattani, Plant Science.

The 11th Annual Chili Smackdown earlier this month featured eight spicy entries and although they were all delicious, student Shawn Williment and his “Willie’s Chili” took the Smackdown belt. A big thanks to all who entered the competition and to our brave judges Martin Scanlon, Justin Bouchard and Kalynn Spain. The chili lunch raised $325, which combined with $900 from the FASO Auction to total $1225 raised for Siloam Mission.



Doug Cattani, Plant Science, was interviewed on Radio Canada (January 19) about the perennial grain Kernza – jump to the 23:45 mark at or select the episode “Céréale Vivace”.

Martin Scanlon, Dean, was interviewed on Manitoba Farm Journal (January 18) – jump to the 20:54 mark on the January 18 report

Desmond Essien, Ph.D. student in Biosystems Engineering, was quoted in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 15) article entitled “Biofilters a natural way to control hog barn odour” –

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, was interviewed in the article “A drone spots a problem in your field. Now what?” in Country Guide (January 11) –

Faith Adeyinka Omonijo, M.Sc. student in Animal Science, was interviewed on Farmscape in the story ” Alternatives to Antibiotics Address Consumer Demand and Help Maintain Animal Health” (January 11) –

Annemieke Farenhorst, Associate Dean (Research) and Soil Science, was noted in the CBC story (January  9) entitled “This First Nation produces clean water. So why are so many residents afraid to drink it?”  –

Belay Ayele, Plant Science, was featured on the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers news blog in the article “Meet a Researcher – Dr. Belay Ayele” (January 9) –

Kristen Matwychuk, Farm and Food Discovery Centre, was interviewed on Farmscape in the story ” Farmers Recognising the Need for Public Outreach” (January 8) –

Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez, Animal Science, was quoted in the article “University Of Manitoba Studying Rapid Discolouration Of Bison Meat” on Discover Westman (January 7) –

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was featured in the article “Leaving lighter footprints” in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 2) –

Kristen Matwychuk, Farm and Food Discovery Centre, was featured in the Agri-Post (December 28) in the article titled “The Main Question: Is Your Food Safe” – see page 23

Emma McGeough, Animal Science, was featured in the Agri-Post (December 28) in the article titled “New Perennial Grain Research to Help with Extending Grazing”– see page 25 ttps://

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was interviewed on Farmscape in the story “Improved Productivity Reduces Pork’s Environmental Footprint” (December 24) –



Omonijo, F. A.*, Liu, S.*, Hui, Q.*, Zhang, H., Lahaye, L., Bodin, J. C., Gong, J., Nyachoti, M., and YANG, C. (2019). Thymol improves barrier function and attenuates inflammatory responses in porcine intestinal epithelial cells during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 67 (2): 615–624.



Bees and Trees!  Beekeeping for the Hobbyist runs 9 Wednesdays from January 30 to March 27, 2019  – learn more or register via Manitoba Arborists’ Training & Licensing Course has its next online (in-class is now full) course intake in January 2019 – visit

Do you love almonds? Ever thought about participating in a clinical trial? The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals is conducting a study to investigate the effect of almonds on gut health. The study is open to men & women who are aged 18-75, non-smokers with an elevated waist circumference. Honorariums provided. Sign up today at or call 204-474-9989

Undergraduate Research Awards offer a rewarding experience for students to be mentored full-time with a professor of their choice for 16 weeks (May to August) and to gain valuable experience in their field of interest, in addition to a $7,000 monetary award. Application deadline is January 25 and complete info is available at where students can see a lists of researchers. 

Volunteers Needed – Ag in the Classroom- Manitoba’s Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) Program is a classroom program delivered at various schools with farmers and agriculture industry representatives aimed at helping students learn about agriculture throughout the province during March. During a classroom visit you share your agriculture story, do an activity and read a book with students. AITC-M will match you with a registered classroom and provide you with a fun activity and training – everything you need for a successful visit! The time commitment is determined by you. It can be a minimum of one hour, a full day or multiple days. Register to volunteer at by Friday, January 25.

Attention Grad Students! The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition that challenges graduate students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience. Deadline is January 28 and the heats take place end of February, with the final on March 18. First place prize is $2,500 and a chance to present at the  Western Regional Competition. You can find out more information at


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