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AG e-news July 6, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

July 6, 2018 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Monday, July 9 – There will be a Special Faculty Seminar entitled “Agriculture in Sri Lanka: Harnessing Opportunities and Embracing Change” presented by Professor Ranjith Senaratne, Chair Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, in Sri Lanka at 10:00 am in the Richardson International Auditorium, 172 Agriculture Building. Professor Senaratne is the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ruhuna, former Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission in Sri Lanka and former Dean Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Professor Senartne’s area of research is nutrient cycling in cropping systems.

July 10-19 –The Crop Diagnostic School held at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm offers full day sessions from July 10 – 13 and July 17 – 19. Certain days are now completely full. For more information see Please call 204-745-5663 and register with Courtney Enns.

Tuesday, July 10 – The Natural Systems Agriculture program invites you to the Harris Farm Tour from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. You’ll see intercrops of flax with spring wheat and lentils; field crops including corn, einkorn and emmer; and management of different green manure mixtures with roller-crimping and grazing. There will be a BBQ after the tour sponsored by Overton Environmental Enterprises. How to get there:  From the Winnipeg north perimeter take summit road (7E) which is a half mile east of the highway 6 lights. Head north 5 1/2 miles. The farm is on the west side and the driveway marker is 72100. You can also search “Harris Farm” on google maps, the farm is located just west of Stony Mountain. For more information contact Katherine Stanley at or 204-898-4122.

July 14-August 25 – Check out the summer family events Saturdays (and one Thursday) at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, beginning with an Insect Investigation on Saturday, July 14. Call 204-883-2524 or email for more information. See the entire summer schedule at

Tuesday, July 17SMART Day and WADO Tour in Melita from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Join us to sharpen your soybean and pea agronomy skills and tour Westman Agricultural Diversification Organization research plots! For more information and registration information, please visit:

Thursday, July 19SMART Day and PESAI Tour in Arborg from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm with lunch to follow. Tour the Prairies East Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Inc. research plots and learn more about the latest pulse and soybean research! For more information and registration information, please visit:

Wednesday, July 25Crops-A-Palooza is is a one-day, hands on, free, in-field learning interactive event that brings together the best research and agronomy extension professionals and farmers to learn how to grow the best crops. Several Faculty members will present including Rob Gulden, Amy Mangin, Megan Bourns, Don Flaten, Jordan Bannerman and Kristen MacMillan. This free event runs 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Portage la Prairie. Learn more and register online at

Thursday, July 26 – This will be the second of three Organic and Ecological Farming Field Walks organized by the Natural Systems Agriculture group.  Join them in Glenlea, MB, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, where the walk will explore long-term organic vs. conventional rotation plots – focus on weeds, soil health and economics (year 27); manure application in organic systems to restore crop productivity and soil carbon; restoring poor-performing organic grain-only plots by intensifying green manure additions; and testing oat varieties under organic production (conventional oat varieties and organically bred oat varieties). Directions: Turn west off Hwy 75 at “Research Station Road” at the Glenlea research farm (20 km south of Winnipeg) and follow signs.

Thursday, August 9 – This will be the third of three Organic and Ecological Farming Field Walks organized by the Natural Systems Agriculture group.  Join them in Carman, MB, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, where the walk will explore mechanical weed control in cereals, dry edible beans and green manures.  Includes in-crop tillage, CombCut and inter-row tillage; grazing warm-season cover crops and cover crop mixtures; testing oat varieties under organic production (conventional oat varieties and organically bred oat varieties); seed increases of farmer-bred wheat lines – what are the possibilities for farmers to breed and market their own varieties?; using spring fallow to control Canada thistle; and moisture conservation in organic cropping systems.  Directions: 1.8 km west of the junction of Hwy 3 and 13 at Carman.

August 12-17 – The International Biotechnology Symposium themed “Supporting a Healthy World” will be held in Montreal and is co-organized by the National Research Council of Canada, McGill University, the University of Waterloo, and BIOTECanada. From disease-resistant crops to vaccines that keep livestock healthy, biotechnology has a big role to play in the sustainable development of our natural resources. This event is held every two years in a different country. IBS2018 is a great opportunity for science faculty and grad students to attend, network, and present their latest research. See details at

Wednesday, August 22 – Pulse Tour in Morden – Join the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers for coffee and a tour of the dry bean breeding program at 10 am at the Morden Research and Development Centre.

Thursday, September 13 – There will be an NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Information Session in the Senate Chamber Room – E3-262 Engineering from 9 am to 12 noon. NSERC staff will give a presentation on how to prepare a scholarship or fellowship application. Please register for a spot at

Saturday, September 29 – There is a pre-ISNN-conference course add-on entitled “Precision Nutrition in Practice” which is hosted by Dr Martin Kohlmeier and Olivia Dong. Cost: $125 (plus 5% GST). Details and registration at

September 30-October 3 – The 12th Congress 2018 International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics will take place in Winnipeg, MB. The Scientific Program will include presentations from internationally renowned speakers on cutting edge areas of research and new discoveries in genetics/genomics, and nutrition. Check out the website at  (See call for abstracts in General News below)

Wednesday, October 24 – Save the date for the 10th Annual Kraft Lecture, which will feature Daniel Sumner, Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. More details to come.

November 27-28 – Presented by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, the Regenerative Agriculture Conference themed “Adapting to Today’s Food and Farming World” will be held at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, highlighting opportunities to boost farm profits using farm systems and ground level-thinking that enhances available natural resources such as healthy soil and intact grasslands. The conference will feature speakers from across North America, including Martin Entz, Plant Science, who will discuss and demonstrate how livestock and grain farmers can apply the principles of regenerative agriculture. Learn more and register at



We have learned that Paul Stelmaschuk, retired Director of the School of Agriculture, passed away on June 22, 2018.  Paul was the Director from 1972 to 1986, and was credited with adding a one-year horticulture certificate and strengthening enrolment in the School’s programs. A full obituary can be found at

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Support Staff Awards – Donna Ryland, Technician with Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and Wendy Kramer, Student Advisor in the Dean’s Office.  All nominees, including Surinder Kamboz, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, and Emily Gregorchuk, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences along with their nominators were acknowledged at an Animal Science BBQ. Congratulations to each of you – your support helps make the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences an outstanding workplace!

Miyoung Suh, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, has received the inaugural Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. Miyoung will receive $2,500 to support funding for her choice of teaching or research activities. The  Excellence in Teaching Award was established to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching mandate of the Faculty.

Each year at this time, the University of Manitoba marks long service milestones for staff – the Faculty recognizes Lisa Babey, Entomology, for 25 years of service at the University.  Congrats!

Vipasha Sood, M.Sc. student in Food Science under Argenis Rodas-González’s supervision, was the recipient of the 2018 CMSA-CMC Volunteers ICoMST Travel Award ($ 2,000) for her research  “Consumer acceptability of bison steaks treated with oregano and rosemary essential oils.” The study will be presented at the 64th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology held August 12-17 in Melbourne, Australia. The award was sponsored by Canadian Meat Science Association / Canadian Meat Council.

Jyoti Sihag, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. student under the guidance of Peter Jones, received second place in the Emerging Leader Award in Nutrition Science Competition organized by American Society of Nutrition in Boston for her abstract submission “Plasma Oleoylethanolamide Concentrations Associate with GPR40 rs1573611 Variations in Participants from the Canola Oil Multi-Centre Intervention Trial 2 (COMIT 2)”.

The Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences welcomes Dr. Natalie Riediger who has been appointed as Assistant Professor in Food Systems and Human Health effective July 1, 2018.  Natalie completed her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba earning her the Governor General’s Gold Medal.  Her doctoral research, advised by Dr. Sharon Bruce, focused on characterizing cardiovascular risk in a Manitoba First Nation.  Following her Ph.D., Natalie was in a contingent position as an Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences at Ongomiizwin Research, Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing.  In 2018, Natalie was the recipient of the CIHR Early Career Investigator Award: Indigenous Circulatory and Respiratory Health.  Natalie’s research focuses on consumer food systems and nutrition policy.

Gwen Band joined the Department of Soil Science as Office Assistant starting July 3. She has previous officeassistance experience at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Economics, the Department of Animal  Science/Entomology General Office and the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. She will join Flor Toribio and Shu Ng as a member of Soil Science’s administrative support team.

A number of administrative changes are happening in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.  As of July 1, Martin Scanlon, Associate Dean (Research) headed out on administrative leave, with Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, appointed as Acting Associate Dean (Research). Francis Zvomuya has been appointed Head of the Department of Soil Science July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023, with outgoing Head Paul Bullock heading out on a one-year leave. Rob Currie has returned from one-year leave to serve a second term as Head for the Department of Entomology. In the Department of Plant Science, Fouad Daayf will be on leave for a year, with Claudio Stasolla serving as Acting Head, and Doug Cattani serving as Acting Associate Head for six months, and Brian Fristensky for six months. 

Others headed out on research study leave as of July 1 – David Levin, Biosystems Engineering (6 months); Harold Aukema, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences(6 months); and Anita Brûlé-Babel, Plant Science (12 months); Returning from leave as of July 1 – Julieta Frank, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics; Emma McGeough, Animal Science; Harry Sapirstein, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences; and Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science.

A number of faculty members including Dean Karin Wittenberg attended the Topigs Norsvin Delta Canada Research Centre Grand opening. The new $15 million facility located at Woodlands houses 2600 pigs and will test 7500 young nucleus boars of the TN Tempo sire line and the Z-line dam line every year for the swine genetic company. Topigs has partnered with the University of Manitoba to collaborate on joint research projects and data capture. Topigs has supplied the Glenlea Research Station with 188 TN70 gilts, with the first farrowing completed in June.

Karin along with Associate Vice President (Partnerships) Jay Doering, Martin Scanlon, Derek Brewin, Peter Jones, and Jim House attended the supercluster Protein Industries Canada thematic workshop held in Winnipeg on June 19. The focus of the workshop was to inform industry and other stakeholders of the unique opportunities this supercluster presents for the Prairie region. 

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science was elected President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) on June 20 in Quebec City, Quebec. CPS is the Canadian national organization of plant pathologists. Dilantha will serve as its president for one year.

Kim Ominski, Animal Science, and Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, were appointed to serve on the Manitoba Agriculture Research and Innovation Committee (MARIC), which will provide analysis and recommendations on strategic investments in agricultural research. The MARIC will be responsible for assessing and making funding recommendations related to research proposals submitted under the five-year, federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Agricultural Partnership. More on this at

Trust Beta was invited to attend a launch by the Malawian government of the national multisectoral nutrition policy and strategic plan and official opening of the International Food and Nutrition Research Disseminatiom Conference held June 20-21 in Lilongwe, Malawi.  At the same conference, she gave a keynote presentation entitled “Food Science for Food and Nutrition Security” under the theme Nutrition for National Development: Leveraging Investments for Effective Response. Trust Beta also gave an invited talk on the “Importance of research and training partnerships in Food Science & Technology for Nutrition Security” at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Faculty of Science in Zomba, Malawi on June 22.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented “Rail technology, natural monopolies and regulations” at the Alberta Agricultural Economics Visions 2018 Conference themed “Agri-food Superclusters: Insutry Game Changer?” in Edmonton on July 5.

The University of Manitoba’s Association of Tiny Tractors (UMATT) travelled to Peoria, Illinois in early June for the International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition sponsored by the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The competition challenges students to build a 900lb tractor within one year that can compete in tractor pulls, a maneuverability course, and a durability course. Teams of students are given a 31 hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. The design of their tractor is up to them. The competition gives students practical experience in design, manufacturing, team work, knowledge of tractor performance, and connections with industry professionals. Out of 29 teams, the UMATT team placed 4th overall (breaking their three-year streak of 9th place finishes) and won 3rd in both the written report and presentation awards. UMATT’s tractor, P18, was designed by students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and the Departments of Biosystems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.



Tune in this Monday, July 9 to CTV Morning Live from 6 am to 9 am, when they do their live remote from the Department of Entomology.

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, and Taryn Dickson, M.Sc. grad, were featured in the article “Weather impacts on canola quality” in Top Crop Manager (July 2018) – see page 14 at

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “140 percent yield bump on knolls” in the Western Producer (June 21) –

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed about the work done by him, Chad Lawley and Di Xiang in the article “Research paper states low income earners hit hardest by dairy supply management” in Ponoka News (June 20) –  Their study was also referenced in “How Canada’s supply management system works” on CBC News at

Peter Jones and Ph.D. student Maraym Samsamikor, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, were featured in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press (June 19)  entitled  “How low can it go?” by Joel Schlesinger.  The article outlines the RCFFN Hemp Protein Blood Pressure study –  They were also featured on CTV News on June 20 in the story “Hemp protein could positively affect high blood pressure: Study” –

The May Diploma convocation was well covered in the Agri-Post, including features on students Taylen Van Den Driessche, Neelinder Singh Mann, Drew Luhowy, and Lindsay Verwey – see pages 22-24 at



Sihag, J. and Jones, P.J.H. 2018. Dietary fatty acid composition impacts plasma fatty acid ethanolamide levels and body composition in golden Syrian hamsters. Food & Function, 2018, 9, 3351 – 3362. doi:10.1039/C8FO00621K.



Call for Abstracts for ISNN2018 – Present your latest discoveries! The 12th Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics is September 30-October 2. All abstracts will be published in Lifestyle Genomics. Abstract deadline has been extended to August 15. Check out the preliminary program online and submit your abstract today for one of the 10 sessions –


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