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AG e-news January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences



Please continue to exercise caution and follow guidelines. For updated health and safety protocols, visit



January 27-29 – The Conversation Canada (  is a growing online publication that combines academic and journalistic expertise. It reaches more than three million viewers every month. The University of Manitoba is a Founding Partner of The Conversation Canada. Editors from The Conversation are conducting workshops for researchers at the University of Manitoba which includes academics/postdoctoral fellows, Indigneous Scholars and graduate students (master’s and doctoral) to explain the goals of the publication and how they can use the platform as a knowledge mobilization vehicle. Participants are encouraged to bring story ideas to the workshops to discuss with the editors from The Conversation. Pre-registration is required. Wednesday, Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST – Conversation Canada Online Workshop for Indigenous Scholars at UM—conversation-canada-online-workshop.  Friday, Jan. 29, 9:30 AM – UM Graduate Student (master’s and doctoral) – Conversation Canada Online Workshop

Wednesday, January 27 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Jian Liu, University of Saskatchewan, on the topic “Agricultural water quality in cold climate regions: Drivers and potential solutions” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link Meeting ID: 910 1948 4808 Passcode: tGq3Y1

Wednesday, January 27 – The next episode in the Faculty Conversation Series will feature Dr. Natalie Riediger, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences and Myra Tait, Athabasca University, on the topic “Sticky money: exploring the acceptability of sugar-sweetened beverage taxation among Indigenous populations”. Event starts at 3:30 pm – visit for more details and livestream link.

Thursday, January 28 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at 3:00 pm with a presentation from Dr. Ana Badea, Research Scientist, Barley Breeding and Genetics, Brandon Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, on the topic “Towards next generation barley breeding”.  To watch, register at

Tuesday, February 2 – The Entomology Seminar Series features Dr. Ola Lundin, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, on the topic “Integrated pest management of flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.) in spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)”. This is a DEGSA Invited Speaker through the Endowment Fund Speaker Series.  Chatting and announcements start at 10:00 am, seminars start at 10:10 am. Zoom meeting instructions are emailed just prior to the event. To be added to the mailing list, contact Kateryn Rochon at kateryn [dot] rochon [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

February 4-5 – The Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) holds an Annual General Meeting to provide industry professionals and academics a place to share their research findings and network.  This year’s plenary session theme is “Soil Webs:  Keeping connected by collaborating between disciplines”. Both oral and poster presentation submissions are welcome. Poster presentations this year will include one-minute pre-recorded poster pitches. Oral Presentations will involve a 10-minute pre-recorded presentation with a live 2 minute Q&A. Please submit contact information and abstracts to MSSS by January 8, 2021. Abstracts are to include the Title, Authors, Author Affiliations, and Abstract Text of less than 300 words. Registration for this event is free, but all participants must register –   More details at

Thursday, February 4 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at 3:00 pm with a presentation from Dr. Aleeza Gerstein, Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology and Statistics, University of Manitoba, on the topic “Genome evolution in fungal microbes”.  To watch, register at

Tuesday, February 9 – The Entomology Seminar Series features Dr. Heather Broccard-Bell, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of San Diego on the topic “Adaptive, Size-Dependent Sensitivity to Inhibitory Signaling Within Honey Bee Colonies: Preliminary Evidence”. Chatting and announcements start at 10:00 am, seminars start at 10:10 am. Zoom meeting instructions are emailed just prior to the event. To be added to the mailing list, contact Kateryn Rochon at kateryn [dot] rochon [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Wednesday, February 10 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Martin Entz, University of Manitoba, on the topic “The world’s long-term agronomic field studies: What can they teach us?” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link Meeting ID: 992 6469 0061 Passcode: X80jwa

Thursday, February 11 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at a special time of 10:00 am with a presentation from Dr. Harun Cicek, Department of International Cooperation, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL),  with topic TBA.  To watch, register at



We were deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Usha Thiyam-Holländer on December 24, 2020. Pleasee read more at

We reported in August 2020 that Martin Entz, Plant Science, and the Natural Systems Agriculture Lab were part of the Canadian team which was selected as a Food Systems Vision Prize finalist for their prairie food vision – kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin. It was one of ten out of 1300 submissions from around the world. This competition, launched by the Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, challenged people to conceive of a regenerative and nourishing food system that can be created by 2050. In January 2021, the Canadian team received word that they have been named as a Top Visionary, which means they will receive US$200,000 to help them realize their vision. Read the announcement here –

The Department of Animal Science welcomes new faculty member Dr. Meagan King as Assistant Professor effective January 1, 2021. Meagan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Guelph. Meagan has held positions of post-doctoral research fellow (2017-2020) and sessional instructor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. She intends to develop a research program in the area of Animal Physiology and Welfare to examine interactions between livestock species and their environment so as to develop best management practice to support raising animals for food. Meagan will also contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching. Check out a Q&A profile here

Late last year, we had announced the appointment of Dr. Curt McCartney to the Department of Plant Science – you can read his Q&A at

The Faculty is pleased to announce that Kristen Matwychuk has been officially appointed to the role of Acting Manager at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre effective January 1, 2021.  Kristen had been temporarily serving as the Acting Manager since early 2020, and before that had served as the Discovery Centre Coordinator since 2016. Kristen graduated with a B.Sc. in Food Science and is a Professional Home Economist in Manitoba.

The Glenlea Research Station is pleased to announce the appointment of Don Chaput as the new Livestock Research Coordinator as of December 3, 2020. In this role, Don will be the liaison between Glenlea support staff and UM academic staff. He will be involved in planning labs and training sessions at Glenlea and all aspects of research trials in various areas of the station.  Don brings to the role 15 years of experience from the swine industry, including facility supervisor of the Glenlea Swine herd since 2011. Don is also a graduate of the Diploma In Agriculture program from the School of Agriculture.

The Glenlea Research Station has recently won several industry awards. Despite the challenges of COVID, the GRS teams have worked hard and are recognized for their efforts.  The Dairy team received #7 for Milk Quality in Manitoba from Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, based on a score calculated by averaging the best 11 of 12 monthly averages in the dairy year of August 2019-July 2020.  The Swine team was ranked #2 in the west by Topigs Norsvin Canada at their annual awards event, in the category of herds less than 500 sows where they achieved an average of 14.68 pigs born/litter.

Plant Biotechnology student and Bisons swimmer Kelsey Wog was named one of the Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2019-20 season by USPORTS. In lieu of a formal ceremony at Rideau Hall, the elite group will participate in a public virtual conversation with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, in mid-February, due to COVID-19 restrictions. See more at

Rotimi Aluko, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, has been renewed as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Food Biochemistry for another 5-year term from January 2021 to December 2025. Rotimi was also elected as Chair of the International Society for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (ISNFF) for a 2-year term (Nov. 2020-Oct. 2022), and was elected as Chair the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) Ethics Committee for the Term 2020-2023.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented a paper titled “President Biden’s International Trade Agenda – Implications for the Canadian Agrifood Sector” as part of an organised session at the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society’s Annual Policy Conference on January 19.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, also presented at the CAES conference on the topic “Agriculture Innovation Policy in Canada: Canola, Wheat, and Pulses”.

The Beekeeping for the Hobbyist course administered by the Department of Entomology (with the assistance of the School of Agriculture staff) boasts a few firsts – this is the first time the course is offered completely online and the first time that participants could pay using a credit card.  The course has been offered for 99 consecutive years with no gaps and fortunately was not a casualty of Covid-19. The course runs January 27 to March 31.



Will Bailey-Elkin, M.Sc. student in Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Survey seeks farmers who intercrop organic peas” in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 26) –

Alumna Michelle Lepp [BSc(Agribus)/06] was featured in the article “Mentoring Mondays: Michelle Lepp” on UM Today (January 25) as part of National Mentoring Month profiles which feature notable UM alumni who are sharing advice with others through UM Cafe: the university’s online mentorship platform. –

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the article “WTO problems may persist” in Western Producer (January 21) –

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, and Emma McGeough, Animal Science, were interviewed in the article “Going wide on corn row spacing” in Country Guide (January 19) –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was profiled in the article “The head of his class” in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 18) –

Alvin Iverson, Plant Science, was profiled in the article “People, relationships the highlight of a long career” in the Manitoba Co-operator (January 13) –



Some people are slow to publish…. The former Dominion of Canada Entomologist Norman Criddle had passed away prior to submitted a few manuscripts on grasshopper biology and life history.  A hand written and typescript version of the intended manuscript from 1933 on Studies in the biology of North American Acrididae development and habits, with a preamble to the publication of the original manuscript was recently published in the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Manitoba.

Aondona MM, Ikya JK, Aluko RE, Girgih AT. 2021. In vitro antioxidant and antihypertensive properties of sesame seed enzymatic protein hydrolysate and ultrafiltration peptide fractions. J. Food Biochem. 45, e13587.

Akharume F, Korotkov KK, Aluko RE, Adedeji A. 2021. Modification of plant proteins for improved functionality: A review. Compr. Rev. Food Sci. Food Saf. 20, 198–224.

Cardwell, R, Kerr, WA. President Biden’s international trade agenda: Implications for the Canadian agrifood sector. Can J Agr Econ. 2021; 1– 7.   (paper is open access for next few weeks)



The U of M Future Leaders 4-H Club  is currently doing a Mom’s Pantry fundraiser until February 12. Funds will go to the club, to the Manitoba 4-H Endowment Fund and to Harvest Manitoba (formerly Winniepg Harvest). There are 3 delivery/pickup locations; Winnipeg, Brandon & Dauphin; if you are not close to these areas you can still support by purchasing dry goods and have them shipped to anywhere in Canada. Check out complete details at

The Manitoba Farm Safety Program is hosting free virtual mental health literacy training throughout the months of January, February and March 2021. The training is focused on mental health and illness, how to promote your own wellbeing, how to recognize mental health struggles in others, and how to provide assistance. Details and registration at

PhD student Callum Morrison and Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, have launched the 2020 Prairie Cover Crop Survey. Participants do not need to have grown a cover crop in 2020 to take part. They welcome participants who are thinking of using cover crops as well as those who grew a cover crop. The 2020 survey will be live until February 1st, 2021. To find out more and / or to take the survey go to

The Manitoba government has launched an online public engagement to help identify opportunities within the agri-food system, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and participate at


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