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AG e-news January 30, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

January 30, 2018 — 

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News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Tuesday, January 30 – There will be a Food and Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Student Seminar at 3:00 pm in Room 207 Human Ecology Building. Rokiatou Kone Berethe will present “Cardiovascular Benefits of Okra in Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor Knockout Mice”.

Wednesday, January 31 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar with Dr. Steve Crittenden, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Brandon who will present “A Soil Quality Story from The Netherlands” at 12:30 pm, Room 346 Ellis Building. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday, January 31James Frey, B.Sc. Agribusiness and M. Natural Resources Management, will be giving a lecture about his experiences abroad to second year Agriculture Diploma students in Room 172 Agriculture at 2:30 pm. James works as a Diversification Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture in Roblin, and partners with the Parkland Crop Diversification Foundation. Previously, he worked as a project officer with Mennonite Central Committee, implementing an agricultural development project to introduce Conservation Agriculture techniques on North Korean cooperative farms.  He has also worked with Dr. Martin Entz on Natural Systems agriculture and organic systems research.  All are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, January 31 – The first talk of the Food Systems Research Group monthly seminar and discussion series will feature “Urban Food Systems: Winnipeg Food Deserts and the Winnipeg Food Council” with Joyce Slater, Associate Professor, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, at 3:00 pm with discussion to follow in Room 130 Agriculture Building. “Food deserts” have emerged over the past 20 years as spaces of concern for communities, public health authorities and researchers because of their potential negative impact on dietary quality and subsequent health outcomes.  Food deserts are residential geographic spaces where low-income residents have limited access to retail food establishments with sufficient variety at affordable cost. A novel method for assessing food deserts will be presented, along with discussion of the value of food deserts as a metric in food security research.  We will also be discussing the new Winnipeg Food Council, whose mandate is to provide advice on agricultural and food related policy to the City of Winnipeg.  Read more at

February 1-2 – The Manitoba Soil Science Society 61st Annual General Meeting will be held in Winnipeg. The focus of the 2018 AGM is “Remembering the Dirty 30’s: Lessons learned, forgotten and rediscovery”. Contact msss [at] cc [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca for more information.

Thursday, February 1 – An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Dr. Colin Hiebert, Research Scientist, Wheat Genetics, Morden Research & Development Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, will present “Isolating a Gene that Suppresses Stem Rust Resistance in Wheat”.  All are welcome to attend. Coffee at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

Friday, February 2 – The HNSC4140 Hot Lunches are back. Hot lunches made as part of the HNSC 4140 course are available for sale on Fridays in the Human Ecology lounge. Staff pre-orders for this week’s lunch must be submitted by Wednesday, January 31 at 12 noon to Snehil [dot] Dua [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.  The lunches run 11:30 am every Friday until March 23.

Friday, February 2 – Do you have kids home on Inservice Day this Friday? Why not bring them out to the Farm and Food Discovery Centre for an Ice Cream Party!  Cost: $5.00 per person over 5 years old, $3.50 3-4 year olds, under 3 free. Inservice Day events run from 10:00-2:00 on a drop in basis. Registration not required.

Tuesday, February 6 – 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. Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Lethbridge, who will be giving a talk in 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am.  The title of his talk is “Are prions just a bad nightmare relegated to an infamous part of Canadian agricultural history?”. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, February 6 – A public lecture on “Reconciliation Through Recognition” with Dr. Phil Fontaine and Kathleen Mahoney will highlight a new project seeking to recognize the foundational contributions of Indigenous peoples to the formation of Canada—improving the context for discussion and action on reconciliation and building nation-to-nation relationships and rights to self-determination. Doors open 6 pm, lecture 6:30-8 pm, reception 8-9 pm in Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre at St. John’s College, 92 Dysart Road.

February 7-8 – The Manitoba Swine Seminar 2018 will take place at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre. Among this year’s speakers are Laurie Connor, Animal Science, and Qiang Zhang, Biosystems Engineering. The organizing committee includes Martin Nyachoti and Chengbo Yang from Animal Science. Register online and check out the complete program at

Tuesday, February 13 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Neil Holliday, Entomology, on “A year in the life of Chlaenius cordicollis”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, February 13 – The University of Manitoba speaker series Visionary Conversations hosted by President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Barnard resumes with the presentation “Are Black Canadians equitably represented in positions of power and influence?” at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (85 Israel Asper Way). Doors open at 6:30 pm, panel discussion 7-8:30 pm and reception at 8:30 pm. Admission is free but seating is limited. RSVP to rsvp [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-9071. More information at

February 23-24 – The 2018 Prairie Organics Think Whole Farm Conference will be held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. This year’s conference will highlight producers and researchers discussing livestock, horticulture, grains, pulses and oilseeds. The conference features a 26 000 sq ft tradeshow and business to business meetings, connecting buyers and sellers of organic grains. The conference is FREE TO STUDENTS and volunteering slots are available. For conference agenda and to register: Email: info [at] prairieorganics [dot] org for more information.

Monday, February 26 – As part of the “Applied Skills in Food Preparation” workshop series organized by the Farm and Food Discovery Centre, the second workshop is “Healthy Snacks” with Getty Stewart, PHEc from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Farm and Food Discovery Centre located at the Glenlea Research Station.  Fee is $10. For more information or to register, call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca, or visit

Wednesday, February 28 – As part of the Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life Program, a session will be presented by Jason Gibbs, Entomology, on the topic “The Diversity of Wild Bees and How To Conserve Them”. To register, visit

September 30-October 3 – Save the date for the 12th Congress 2018 International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics which will take place in Winnipeg, MB. More information coming soon!



Congratulations to Rotimi Aluko, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, who has been selected as a 2018 American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) Fellow. The AOCS Fellow Award is a category of AOCS membership that recognizes achievements in science, or extraordinary service to the Society. Such contributions are not limited to research, but may include such areas as industrial achievement, leadership, education, administration, communications, or regulatory affairs.  Rotimi will receive his recognition at the AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo in Minneapolis, MN on May 6.

The School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba recently announced a redesign of the Diploma in Agriculture academic program following an intensive review that began in 2015 and involved focus groups, interviews and surveys of stakeholders.  The new program takes effect in Fall 2018 and will graduate  its first class in 2020. Read more at

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) hosted a reception on January 18 which was intended to bring all Manitoba stakeholders up to date on the SuperCluster proposal that was submitted, including a timetable for the announcement. The PIC board members all attended. Martin Scanlon, Derek Brewin and Peter Jones represented the University of Manitoba at the reception. That afternoon PIC Board members hosted an event which Dean Karin Wittenberg attended along with representatives from University of Winnipeg and Red River College to discuss opportunities for Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions to work collaboratively in support of innovation and training priorities outlined in the PIC Super Cluster proposal.

Karin met with the Dr. Meir Serfaty, Acting Vice President (Academic) and Provost and Dean Bernadette Ardelli, Faculty of Science from Brandon University on January 16 to discuss progress made in the development of a pre-professional option in agriculture at BU.  The intention of the program is that students in the Brandon catchment area could take their first two years of a degree program offered through the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at Brandon University.

With Paul Bullock completing his term as Head, Department of Soil Science this June, the Faculty has initiated a Head Search.  Watch for the posting shortly.

The Faculty seminar video archive has been updated – check out recent presentations by Argenis Rodas-González and Jared Carlberg at



David Lobb, Soil Science, was featured in the article “Don’t let up soil erosion battle” on AgWeek (January 22) –



Gao, X., Parsonage, S., Tenuta, M., Baron, K., Hanis-Gervais, K., Nelson, A., Tomasiewicz, D., and Mohr, R. 2017. Nitrogen fertilizer management practices to reduce N2O emissions from irrigated processing potato in Manitoba. American Journal of Potato Research 94(4): 390-402.

Since the interaction of water with salt is critical to the handling properties of dough in a bakery, investigation of milling and hygroscopic “ingredients” were the subject of investigations of a joint team at the Universities of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Two papers describing the outcomes of these investigations were recently published:
Effect of Damaged Starch and NaCl Level on the Dough Handling Properties of a Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat.  Stone, Andrea K.; Hucl, Pierre J.; Scanlon, Martin G. and Nickerson, Michael T.  2017. Cereal Chemistry 94: 970-977.
Polyethylene glycol as an osmotic regulator in dough with reduced salt content.  Yovchev, Aleksandar G.; Stone, Andrea K.; Hucl, Pierre; Scanlon, Martin G. and Nickerson, Michael T. 2017. Journal of Cereal Science  76: 193-198.



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 29 and the heats take place end of February, with the final on March 21. First place prize is $1,000. You can find out more information at

The Campus Commute survey can be accessed at for all staff, students and faculty to influence the improvement of transportation options on and leading to our campuses. Those who complete the survey by February 9, 2018 will be entered for a chance to win an iPad mini 4 ($620 value); $500 grocery store gift certificate; or a bike ($600 value).



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