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AG e-news June 13, 2019

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

June 13, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Sunday, June 16 – The annual Manitoba Marathon will being held at the Fort Garry campus. Please take note of the related road closures at

Wednesday, June 26 – Register today for F3S – Food Systems Student Symposium, an event created by graduate students at the University of Manitoba. The theme this year is “Bridging the Gap: Working towards collaborative food systems research at the University of Manitoba”. This one-day event includes a keynote speaker featuring Dr. Tara Moreau, Associate Director of Sustainability and Community Programs, UBC Botanical Gardens, as well as panel discussion, student presenters, poster competitions, coffee breaks, lunch and an off-campus social following the closing ceremonies. F3S is a multi-disciplinary approach towards food systems in Canada and internationally. It gives graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research with a new perspective, promoting discussion and creative thinking, finding ways to relate their projects to the global food system. Student registration is $20, all others $30 – includes coffee, snacks and lunch. To learn more and to register, visit

July 9-12 – The Canadian Agricultural Economics Annual Meeting in Ottawa will include a post-conference workshop by Chad Lawley on “Evaluation of Public Policy and Programs using Observational Microdata” – Anyone interested in an early discount should register before June 1 by visiting

July 9-18 – Manitoba Agriculture and the University of Manitoba have once again organized the Crop Diagnostic School, running from July 9-12 and from July 16-18. This is a unique opportunity to help you scout fields and recognize potential problems, while also getting an update on the latest crop management issues. The new reduced rate for students and farmers is only $50. Workshops are conducted at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB. To register, call the Crop Industry Branch at 204-745-5660 or email crops [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca.

Saturday, July 13 – Come kick off the Family Fun Days at the Farm and Food Discovery Centre with Breakfast on the Farm. Enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast and get a tour of the farm. Pre-registration required, activities between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Cost: $5.00 plus GST per person ages 5+, $3.50 plus GST per child 3-4 years old. For more information, please contact our Discovery Centre Coordinator at (204) 883-2524 or ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.  To see all the Family Fun Days events, visit

July 16-17 – The Natural Systems Agriculture research group has planned three field tours this summer. Join them to see their organic crop and soil management research. All are welcome! July 16 at the Carman Research Station, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; July 17 at Glenlea Research Station (west side of Highway 75),  1:00 pm – 3:30 pm; and  July 17, Libau, MB,  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (Directions: 1 km east of highway 59 on Road 84N, 40km north of Winnipeg. Site is on the north side of the road).

July 16-18 – The Regenerative Farming/Ranching event will take place at Brandon, MB at the Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiative Learning Centre, offered by the Soil Health Academy. Tuition: $1,275 USD Contact: M. Thiele, 204-365-6334, mthiele [at] mymts [dot] net about scholarships and discounts for full time university students. See more at

July 17-18 – The Manitoba Young Farmers Committee, sponsored by KAP, has arranged a trip to Ag in Motion, western Canada’s outdoor farm expo northwest of Saskatoon. If you are young (18-40), farming (or helping on a farm), and from Manitoba (or currently reside in Manitoba) – this trip is for you! A chartered bus will leave the Oak Bluff Rec Centre on Wednesday, July 17 at 6:00 a.m. It will pick up more young farmers in Brandon at Hepson Equipment around 8:00 a.m., continue on to Regina for lunch and then head to AIM to catch the rest of the day. The next day is a full day at the show, departing at 4:30 for home.  The cost is $100 per person for the bus ride, entry into AIM and accommodation. Buy tickets by visiting

Wednesday, July 24 – CROPS-A-PALOOZA is back for 2019 at a new location! The outdoor crop event will be held at the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre in Carberry for 10am – 4pm.  Nine Manitoba producer/commodity groups (Wheat & Barley, Winter Cereals, Sunflower, Oats, Pulse & Soybean, Corn, Hemp, Potato, and Canola) have partnered with the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre and the Canola Council of Canada to bring CROPS-A-PALOOZA to Manitoba.  It is a carnival-like event with games, food, and fun to make plot tours and agronomy messages more educational and memorable.  The event has no fixed schedule, so attendees can arrive whenever and check out the agronomy themed stations that they are interested in.  Around 18 stations have been picked to be brought to life at CROPS-A-PALOOZA with a mix of government and industry instructors to engage growers with hands on activities and demos.  Stations range from stand establishment to harvest management and anything in between.  Last year the event brought in 400 participants for the one day tour making it the largest single day crop tour in Manitoba! Check out the video of the CanolaPALOOZA event in 2016: or listen to producers describe the value of PALOOZA with linking producers and research community together: Registration link is



At the June 6 University of Manitoba Spring Convocation session, 182 undergraduate students, 26 M.Sc. and 11 Ph.D. students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences received their parchments from Dean Martin Scanlon. Ph.D. student Ifeanyi Nwachukwu received the Governor General’s Gold Medal awarded for outstanding achievement at the graduate level. Human Nutritional Sciences student Cassie DuGray received the University Gold Medal in Agricultural and Food Sciences for Awarded for highest standing in the Faculty’s undergraduate degree program. Program medals, given for highest standing in a degree program, were awarded to Coral Williams (Agriculture), Connor Shirtliff (Agribusiness), Da Shi (Food Science) and Sharra Kohm (Human Nutritional Sciences). (No Agroecology medal was given in 2019). The Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal, which is not presented at Convocation, was awarded to Bhanu Pilli, Human Nutritional Sciences student, for “best record in scholarship and personal qualities throughout the Degree Course in Agriculture”.

Digvir Jayas, Distinguished Professor and Vice-President (Research and International), received an earned doctorate on June 5 from the University of Saskatchewan. The award is in recognition of his substantial and sustained knowledge and contributions in his field of research, beyond that required for a typical doctorate.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science has been elected a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, USA, recognizing his contributions to research excellence, graduate and HQP training and service. Read more at

Don Flaten, Soil Science, has been awarded the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs annual Excellence Award for Teaching. Don was presented with the award at the CADAP annual general meeting and conference, hosted this year in Winnipeg by the School of Agriculture. Michele Rogalsky and her team provided the participants of the meeting with a packed program and tours of the Faculty’s facilities.

Four Faculty researchers have been named as winners of the 2018 Merit Awards in the category Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering. The awards are presented in recognition of outstanding teaching, research, scholarly work and creative activities, and service. Ying Chen and Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, were both recipients in the area of Research, Scholarly Work and Creative Activities. Christina Lengyel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was a recipient in the Service area. Kim Ominski, Animal Science, was a recipient in the Combination area.

The University of Manitoba’s Agricultural Robotics Team (UM-agBOT) captured third place at a recent international competition where teams were challenged to create autonomous robots capable of performing agricultural tasks. UM-agBOT was formed this academic year by biosystems engineering students Eric Hawley, Cody Listoe, Franklin Ogidi and George Dyck. They were advised by Jason Morrison and Marcel Lehman, both from the Department of Biosystems Engineering. They were the only Canadian team out of 10 competitors. Read the whole story and see photos of their project at

The Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences welcomes Shao Hu who joined Trust Beta’s research group on May 28  for one year. Shao Hu is a visiting scholar from Jiangsu Food & Pharmaceutical Science College (Huai’an, Jiangsu, China). He successfully secured a 12-month sponsorship provided under Jiangsu Overseas Visiting Scholar Program for University Prominent Young & Middle-aged Teachers & Presidents (Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education). He will conduct investigations on the synergism between probiotics and prebiotics from grains to produce functional dairy products beneficial to human health.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, attended the 2019 Canadian Food Summit on Sustainable Innovation organized by the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) and held May 22-24 in Halifax, NS. She presented a paper on behalf of MSc student, Yuwei Song on “Carotenoids retention during processing and bioaccessibility of carotenoids of maize-based products” in the session on Nutrition and Health. At the same Summit, Ph.D. student Pamela Drawbridge was awarded a national CIFST Student Leadership award for the prominent role she has played in planning and implementing events undertaken by the CIFST Manitoba Section over the past two years.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, attended the annual Canadian Economics Association May 31-June 2 in Banff. Presented two papers“Untying the Knot to Lengthen the Rope: How Untying Affected Canadian Food Assistance” (with Pascal Ghazalian, U of Lethbridge) and “Support for Public Policies in Canada: A Customised Survey Experiment Applied to Supply Management” (with Chad Lawley).

Michael Janzen, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, attended Bridge2Food and the 12th Plant Protein Ingredients Summit 2019 in Saskatoon May 29-31 where RCFFN had a booth.  It was a very successful food industry summit connecting industry, educators and facilities in the plant-protein ingredients and food global industry.

Itzel Vazquez-Vidal, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, presented at Nutrition 2019 in Baltimore MD June 8-11. The title of the presentation was “Multi-nucleotide Polymorphisms Influence Cholesterol Response Differently to Dietary Fat”. She was highlighted in the Nutrition 2019 Daily:

Mya Kraft has accepted the Confidential Secretary to the Dean position effective June 17, 2019. Mya Kraft has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from UBC and has worked in various university administrative positions for nearly 15 years including working as a confidential secretary for the RCFFN, V.P. (Research & International), Faculty of Graduate Studies, and most recently as an assistant with the School of Agriculture. She has also worked as a Project Officer for MRAC providing support to the board of directors.  We are happy to have her join our team in the Dean’s Office.  We also say a profound thank you to Kim Stefaniuk for her years of service in the Dean’s office, and bid Kim farewell as she heads into retirement.

Effective May 31, 2019,  Dr. Rotimi Aluko was appointed as the new Director of the RCFFN. Rotimi is a Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists. He has a globally recognized research program on the production and structure‐function properties of food proteins and protein‐derived bioactive peptides, especially for the prevention and management of hypertension and oxidative stress. Rotimi is a pioneer researcher in the field of plant seed bioactive peptides and value-added utilization of plant seed proteins. He also has an active research program examining the structure-function properties of bitter taste receptor peptide agonists and antagonists.

And finally, as summer approaches, so do the beginnings (and for some, the ends) of Research Study Leaves: Headed out on leave are Christine Lengyel (July 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019); Karmin O (July 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019); and Stefan Cenkowski (July 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019). Returning from leave on July 1 are Nazim Cicek, Miyoung Suh, Usha Thiyam-Hollander, Anita Brule-Babel, Doug Cattani,  Fouad Daayf, and Paul Bullock.



Brian Amiro, Soil Science, and Karin Wittenberg, Animal Science, were featured in the UM Today story “Preparing for Prairie Agriculture 2050 in a Climate of Change” (June 12) –

Members of the Department of Entomology were featured on CTV Morning Live (June 4) – watch clips at; and

Francis Zvomuya, Soil Science, was interviewed by several media outlets about lead levels in soils in St. Boniface –;  and

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, and his team were featured in the article “Monitoring and forecasting soil moisture – Real-time technology can impact decision making on-farm and across regional landscapes” in Top Crop Manager (June 2019) – see page 6 at

Kyle Bobiwash and Jason Gibbs, Entomology, were interviewed in the story “Une rare collection de papillons offerte à l’Université du Manitoba” by ICI Manitoba, Radio-Canada (June 2) –

Vivian Bruce, retired nutritional scientist, was featured in the story “Pioneer canola researcher to get province’s top honour” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 27) –

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the article “Is it the end of the ag trade world as we know it?” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 24) –

The School of Agriculture convocation and several of the graduates were featured in the AgriPost (May 31) – see pages 28-31 at



Beta, T., Li, W. and Apea-Bah, F.B. (2019) Flour and bread from black-, purple-, and blue-colored wheats. Chapter 6 in: Preedy, V.R., Watson, R.R. and Patel, V. (Eds.) Flour and Breads and their Fortification in Health and Disease Prevention, 2nd Edition, pp. 76-88. Academic Press.



Agriculture in the Classroom invites you to volunteer at their upcoming Amazing Agriculture Adventure (AAA) in Winnipeg, September 17-19, 2019. The Winnipeg event is held between two venues, Richardson International’s Kelburn Farm and the University of Manitoba’s Farm and Food Discovery Centre, and the Faculty’s Glenlea Research Station. The AAA is a hands-on and interactive event geared towards Grade 4 and Grade 5 science curriculum. Time commitment is approximately 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. They will need class hosts on each of the three days to tour the students and teachers through the interactive stations. In addition, they need volunteers to help manage the various stations. To volunteer, please register online at


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