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AG e-news June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.



Two workshops remain in the “Preserving Summer’s Bounty Workshop Series” organized by the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and led by food writer and professional home economist Getty Stewart. Monday, June 13 is “Blanching and Freezing Produce and Monday, June 20 is “Hot Water Bath Canning 101 – Let’s Get Canning!”.  Workshops begin at 7:00 pm. Cost per workshop is $15/adult. Don’t have a sitter? Entertainment available for children under 12 available – $2.50/child. Learn more at or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca to register.

In partnership with the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, the University of Manitoba will be offering Organic Agronomy Training, a training program for agronomists who are interested in providing agronomic advice to organic and ecological farmers on Thursday, June 16, at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm, Carman, MB. This is a one-year training program aimed at “conventional” agronomists who are interested (or are being asked by customers/clients) to provide advice on organic crop, soil and whole farm management.  Course instructors are Martin Entz, Joanne Thiessen Martens, and Katherine Stanley The registration cost of $159.60 includes in-person training on June 16 (price includes lunch), 12 months of online/social media support, and an in-person training session on June 2017 (date TBA, price includes lunch). See the curriculum or register at

The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will have a special seminar on Friday, June 24 at 10:30 am in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Ismail Cakmak, Professor, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey will present “Fertilizing Food Crops to Improve Human Nutrition and Health”. Refreshments will be served at 10:00 am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

A Soil Science M.Sc. Thesis Defence will take place Monday, June 27 at 1:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Gustavo Bardella will present “Phosphorus Management Practices for Soybean Production in Manitoba”.

The Ecological and Organic Farming Field Tour will take place Friday, July 15 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB.  The tour runs 9:00 am to 12 noon, followed by lunch. RSVP by Monday, July 11 to Bev at bev [dot] godard [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-8563. For more information, visit the Natural Systems Agriculture website at

In this, the Year of the PULSE, Winnipeg will be host to the 10th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop. This workshop includes sessions on Genetics and Plant Breeding, Agronomy and Pathology, Environment and Nutrition and Food.  The workshop will be held at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg October 25-28.  There will be an additional workshop pulse protein quality on the afternoon of October 28.  To get more information and register go to



At the University of Manitoba Spring Convocation held last week, 160 undergraduate students were eligible to receive their parchments from Dean Karin Wittenberg. Plant biotechnology student William de Martines received the University Gold Medal in Agricultural and Food Sciences. Program medals were presented to Dana Mitchell (Agriculture), Pengfei Li (Agribusiness), Jonathan Rosset (Agroecology) and Chelsea Penner (Human Nutritional Sciences). Agronomy student Jacey Schettler was the winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal. For the first time, undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty convocated at the same ceremony. A total of 23 M.Sc. and 16 Ph.D. students graduated.  Peter Jones, Food Science and Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was named a distinguished professor (, an honour that only 20 U of M full-time professors may hold at one time.

Ryan Cardwell and Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, along with colleague Di Xiang, received the John Vanderkamp Prize from the Canadian Economics Association (CEA) for Best Article of 2015 in their journal Canadian Public Policy. The award is for “Milked and Feathered: The Regressive Welfare Effects of Canada’s Supply Management Regime” ( The award was presented at the CEA annual conference in Ottawa June 3.  The CEA is the largest association of academic economists in Canada. Read more at

Three faculty members have been recognized with Long Service Awards: Loreen Onischuk, Animal Science, Gary Johnson, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, and Ramanathan Sri Ranjan, Biosystems Engineering are celebrating 25 years of service with the University of Manitoba.

Pengfei Li, recent Agribusiness graduate, has been awarded an Undergraduate Book Prize by the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Zach Polk, Entomology, received a Student Travel Grant ($550 USD) to attend and present at the Livestock Insect Workers’ Conference in Oklahoma City June 26-29.

A number of students received awards from the Entomological Society of Canada. Aldo Rios Martinez received the Postgraduate Scholarship (M.Sc.), Udari Rajakaruna received the Danks Scholarship (a new award this year) and the Biological Survey of Canada Scholarship, and Ishan Samaranayake received the Dosdall Memorial Scholarship.

Karin Wittenberg, Dean, and Jim House, Human Nutritional Sciences and Food Science, met with representatives of the Dietitians of Canada on May 30 to discuss future curriculum needs and learning tools being developed by this organization.  A major focus for Dietitians Canada is the development of tools that help their members attain science-based information related to the nutrition and health of Canadians.

Karin attended the Manitoba Business Hall of Fame Gala on June 1 to help celebrate the induction of alumnus Bruce D. Campbell (BSA/58, LLD/07). Bruce is also a recipient of University of Manitoba Honorary Doctorate and a member of the Order of Canada. Not only has Bruce supported the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences through establishment of bursaries and scholarships for students, his lead donation resulted in the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre which celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2016.

Karin also met the Class of 1951 on June 2 as they celebrated their 65th reunion. There she had a chance to meet with a former AAFC scientist Dr. Vernon Burrows (who did much to advance the use of oats on saline or alkaline soils), retired producers, veterinarians as well as individuals who worked with government and industry to advance agriculture in western Canada.  The class of 1951 had 63 graduates.  The reunion was organized by Ed Somers and Vern McNair.

Don Flaten, Soil Science, joined 17 other scientists for a workshop June 1-2 in Washington, DC, to determine environmentally appropriate phosphorus management practices for major commodity crops of the US. The workshop was hosted by The Fertilizer Institute and the International Plant Nutrition Institute.

Soil Science graduate students were once again hosts for Can U when a group of Grade 5 and 6 students from Lowe Farm, MB, visited the Ellis Building on the evening of May 10. There were 34 students in Grades 5 and 6 who visited the Junior and Senior teaching labs in the Ellis Building.  The Soil Science grad students took the lead on organizing and setting up all of the activity stations.  These included the Soil Ecology area where they saw nematodes through microscopes and the influence of organic matter on soil (Fernanda Gouvea, Mike Runzika, Megan Westphal).  There was a Soil pH activity where they measured soil pH and related that to the pH of other common items (Ike Agomoh).  There was a Soil Physical Property area where they could do hand texturing (very messy!!!) and test how quickly and deeply that water infiltrated different soils (Dr. Janna Wilson, Department of Environment and Geography) with help from Geethani Archchilage and Inoka Amarakoon.



Fernando D, Tun HM, Poole J, Patidar R, Li R, Mi R, Amarawansha G, Fernando DW, Khafipour E, Farenhorst A, and Kumar A. 2016. Detection of antibiotic resistance genes in source and drinking water samples from a First Nation community in Canada. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 10.1128/AEM.00798-16.

Selin, C., de Kievit, T. R., Belmonte, M. F., Fernando, W. G. D., 2016. Elucidating the role of effectors in plant fungal interactions: Progress and Challenges. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00600

Unsworth, J., Corsi, C., Van Emon, J., Farenhorst, A., Hamilton, D., Howard, C., Hunter, R., Jenkins, J., Kleter, G., Kookana, R., Lalah, J., Leggett, M., Miglioranza, K., Miyagawa, H., Peranginangin, N., Rubin, B., Saha, B., Shakil, N. (2015). Developing Global Leaders for Research, Regulation and Stewardship of Crop Protection Chemistry in the 21st Century. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64(1): 52-60.

Ojo, O.O., Taiwo, K.A., Scanlon, M., Oyedele, D.J. and Akinremi, O.O. 2015. Influence of pre-treatments on some nutritional and anti-nutritional contents of Solanum macrocarpon (Gbagba). American Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Research 2: 32-39.



Ala’a Eideh, Ph.D. student in Human Nutritional Sciences, was interviewed by CBC in the story “How to: keeping the Ramadan fast healthy” –

Myrna Grahn, Farm and Food Discovery Centre, was quoted in two Farmscape articles “Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre Programming Particularly Good Fit for Grades 10 and 11” and “Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre School Tours Gain in Popularity”. Visit to read or listen to the interviews.

Forest tent caterpillars kept the Department of Entomology hopping. Rob Currie was interviewed by CTV (May 27) –, Kateryn Rochon was interviewed by multiple outlets (Radio-Canada, Radio-Canada TV, CBC Television) including this story on CBC – and Jordan Bannerman was interviewed by the Free Press (May 30) –

Kateryn was also interviewed about ticks in multiple media (Radio-Canada radio, Global TV, CTV Morning Live, CTV News) including in the article “Beekeepers on front line of tick invasion” in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 9) – read it online on page 34 at

And Kateryn’s YouTube video on safe tick removal has surpassed 1 million views – It was used by CBC during their coverage of the conference to develop federal framework on Lyme disease, and by Lethbridge Community Health for public education.

Rob Currie, Entomology, was quoted in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 7) article “Mites could play role in variable bee losses” –

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Soybeans shine with no-till systems” in Grainews (June 7) – read it on page 5 at



The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is looking for a Summer Program and Tour Guide Assistant. If you know of a high school student looking for a great summer job, encourage them to apply!

The Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba invites applications for a tenure track position at the rank of Assistant Professor, commencing September 1, 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter, to teach and conduct research in Insect Systematics and Taxonomy.


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