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AG e-news June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Wednesday, June 21 – Join the celebrations! U of M will host National Aboriginal Day events beginning with a Friendship Round Dance outside of the Administration Building at Noon. Afterward, everyone is invited for coffee, cake and community in Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge.

June 25-28 – The 8th Canadian Barley Symposium and 22nd North American Barley Researchers Workshop will be held in Winnipeg, MB at the Fairmont Hotel.  This joint conference will feature a range of presentations on barley breeding, agronomy, pathology and production use (functional foods, feed and beer).  Conference website:

Wednesday, June 28 – Sign up today for the Present and Future of 4R Crop Nitrogen Management Tour taking place at various stops around Carman, MB. This free workshop features presentations by University of Manitoba staff and students (Mario Tenuta, Lanny Gardiner, Matthew Wood, and Amy Mangin) along with industry and Manitoba Agriculture presenters. RSVP by email to mario [dot] tenuta [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. On tour day call 204-290-7827 with issues.

July 4-13 – Registration for the Crop Diagnostic School held at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm is now open. The full day sessions will be offered from July 4 – 6 and July 11 – 13. There is a discounted fee ($50) for University of Manitoba staff and students for the session held on Tuesday, July 4. The fee for all the other dates is the full price of $175. For more information see

July 8 – August 19 – Check out the summer family events Saturdays (10 am to 2 pm) at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, beginning with an Ice Cream Party on Saturday, July 8. Cost: $5.00 per person over 5 years old. Call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca for more information. See the entire summer schedule at

August 6-8 – The Canadian Society for Bioengineering annual general meeting and conference themed “Food, Fuel and Fibre for a Sustainable Future” will be held at Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg. The event will also host the national gathering of the CIGR Section VI Bioprocesses (Postharvest Technology and Process Engineering).   For more details, see the conference website:

September 25-28 – The Agricultural Bioscience International Conference is coming to Winnipeg! Themed “Solutions Start Here”, ABIC 2017 is the premier global meeting which promotes innovation in bioscience to ensure sustainable food, feed, fibre and fuel security as the climate changes. Delegates from around the world will gather to promote the application of agricultural biotechnology. Program and keynotes can be explored at the conference webiste. Register today at – early bird rates end June 30!



Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was selected to receive the Faculty of Graduates Studies Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award. The award is given to a deserving academic in recognition of their commitment to advising, educating, and supporting graduate students.

The Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) recently announced two new awards.  The first of these awards is the Ron Britton Engineering Education Vanguard Award.   This will be awarded at the CEEA AGM to be held at UBC next June.  It is to honor someone early in their career who is making significant contributions to engineering education.  The second new award is the CEEA/ACEG Lifetime Service Award and Ron Britton, Biosystems Engineering, was named as the first recipient of this award!

Vipasha Sood, M.Sc. student in Food Science under Argenis Rodas-González’s supervision, was the recipient of the 2017 Percy Gitelman Memorial Scholarship ($ 3,000) for her research  “Improving Shelf Life Of Fresh Bison Steaks Treated With Oregano and Rosemary Essential Oils.” The study was presented at the Canadian Meat Science Association Technical Symposium during the Canadian Meat Council Annual Conference held June 5-7 in Ottawa, ON.

Last newsletter, we noted Will Pallister received the University Gold Medal for the Faculty as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal. Here is citation that was read when Will was presented with the former.  See it at

Mehdi Arzandeh, a recent Economics Ph.D. graduate (supervised by Julieta Frank and Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics), presented his research “The Information Content of the Limit Order Book” at the Canadian Statistics Student Conference (CSSC) which this year was held at the University of Manitoba on Saturday, June 10.

A number of students and faculty from the Department of Agribusiness are attending the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society annual meetings in Montreal June 18-21. Presentations include “Price Discovery in Agricultural Futures Markets: Should We Look Beyond the Best Bid-Ask Spread?” Mehdi Arzandeh and Julieta Frank, University of Manitoba; “Commodity Price Impacts, Profitability, and Market Signals from Net Speculative Positions of Non-Index Fund Traders” Janelle Mann (alumni), University of Manitoba; Charles Grant, University of Manitoba; Larry Rigaux, Phoenix AgriTec Inc.; “Ownership Restrictions and Farmland Values: Evidence from the 2003 Saskatchewan Farm Security Act Amendment” Chad Lawley, University of Manitoba. Julieta, Charles and Janelle are also presenting as part of a Symposium on Research in Agricultural Commodity Markets. Two of our Agribusiness students, Amanda Pfrimmer and Connor Shirliff, are also part of the undergraduate case competition at the annual meeting.

Laurie Connor, Animal Science, was an invited speaker at the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Workshop in Saskatoon June 2-3.  She spoke  and facilitated two breakout sessions on the CCAC guidelines on the Care and Use of Farm Animal in Research, Teaching and Testing.

Miyoung Suh, Human Nutritional Sciences, was invited to a reception at the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba’s house on June 7 in honour of the 30th Annual Canadian Student Health Research Forum.

Don Flaten, Soil Science, has been invited to a number of events over the next few months – Canadian water quality workshop, Toronto, June 27-28 ( invited participant), Farm Bureau of Minnesota Red River Valley Agriculture Water Issues Forums, July 17-20 (invited speaker), and the Canadian Soil Health Summit, August 21-23 (invited moderator).

Xinyang Sun, Ph.D. candidate in Food Science, and Filiz Koksel, Food Science, were invited to give seminars at the Nanjing University of Finance and Economics in Nanjing, China  on May 18. Filiz’s seminar was about the importance of bread dough microstructure and how it can be investigated by synchrotron X-ray radiation. Xinyang presented a part of her PhD research, on the processing tolerance of Canada western red spring wheat for breadmaking. Following their visit to Nanjing, gave an oral presentation entitled “Modeling the rhelogical properties of wheat flour dough” at the 1st ICC Asia-Pacific Grains Conference in Xiamen, China May 20-24. The co-authors of her presentations were Filiz Koksel and Martin G. Scanlon (Food Science), and Michael T. Nickerson (University of Saskatchewan). Filiz delivered a presentation on “Effects of genotype and environment on grain, flour, dough properties and gluten protein composition of Canada western red spring wheat”, with co-authors Manasah Mkhabela, Francis Zvomuya, Paul Bullock (Soil Science) and Harry Sapirstein (Food Science). With this presentation Filiz won the Best Youth Speaker Award. After the conference, Filiz was invited to give a seminar at the Jimei University in Xiamen, China on May 25. In her seminar, she talked about the use of electromagnetic and mechanical waves as tools to investigate the microstructural and rheological properties of foods.

Marjia Khanom, Biosystems Engineering M.Sc. student with Mashiur Rahman, has presented a research paper entitled “Consumers’ Willingness to Contribute to the Implementation of a Workplace Safety Label” at the International Journal of Arts & Sciences’ (IJAS) American Canadian Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities which was held at the Ryerson University’s International Learning Center in Toronto June 5-8.

James Nolan (co-author of Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics) presented their paper “Policy Experiments in Rail: Assessing Alternative Grain Transportation Regulatory Policies in the Laboratory” at the Third Annual Research Colloquium on the Economics and Regulation of the Freight Rail Industry at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on June 16.

The Faculty welcomes Niccolo Renoldi, a visiting M.Sc. student from the University of Udine in Italy. Niccolo will be working with Martin Scanlon, Nancy Ames and John Page on a pasta processing project using Canadian durum wheat and will be in Manitoba until September.

Representatives from the Nanjing University of Finance and Economics will be visiting the University of Manitoba this week to discuss our 2+2 agreement. The Faculty has graduated 35 students from Nanjing in the last five years. We also have a number of strong research connections with their institution particularly in the area of grain storage and our Department of Biosystems Engineering (Zhang, Jayas, Jian and Fields). For example, the linkage has led to the establishment of the Canada China-Canada Research Centre for Stored Grain Ecosystems, through which our researchers work on joint projects with Nanjing researchers and organize annual meetings to bring researchers together. There have also been a number of personal research exchanges, graduate students and joint projects and publications produced. Another collabroation is between Trust Beta, Food Science and colleague Qin Liu on grain-based functional foods.

A shout out to Team RCFFN who rode the “Big Bike” on June 16 at the Legislative grounds for Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.  Together they raised $1185 in funds for heart disease and stroke research.  The team consisted of 29 members from Drs. Jones, Suh, Myrie, Thiyam-Hollander group, plus RCFFN tenants Kane Biotech, Myera Group and Canadian Grain Commission. You can still donate to them at

End of June means that a number of academics will be headed off on research study or administrative leaves. The following academics will be on leave: Rob Currie – July 1/17 to July 1/18; Ehsan Khafipour – July 1/17 to Dec 31/17; David Lobb – July 1/17 to Dec 31/17; Ying Chen – July 1/17 to Dec 31/17; Kris Dick – July 1/17 to Dec 31/17; Mario Tenuta – July 1/17 to Dec 31/17; Harry Sapirstein – July 1/17 to June 30/18. Those still on leave include Brian Oleson – Jan 1/17 to Dec 31/17 and Laurie Connor – Jan 1/17 to Dec 31/17.  Returning from leave are Rob Duncan – Jan 1/17 to June 30/17; Carla Taylor – Jan 1/17 to June 30/17; and Dilantha Fernando – July 1/16 to June 30/17



The University of Manitoba Libraries are investigating the way our websites work, and, we’re seeking study participants for our next usability study. Contact us to make a testing appointment, or to review the informed consent form. There will be a small research participant incentive provided, to thank you for your insights. Appointments will be no longer than one hour and a half in length, and will involve you independently navigating the Libraries’ website and talking about your thoughts and decisions while achieving set goals (locating specific text, downloading documents, etc.). You’ll be given a brief questionnaire to fill out before your test, and a brief questionnaire for your feedback on the test. Your actions on-screen will be recorded via screen capture software, and your spoken thoughts will be audio recorded. Please remember, it isn’t you that’s being tested – you’re helping us find out where the site is working and not working. The UofM Libraries are seeking study participants from the following user groups: Undergraduates , Graduate Students, and Faculty. If you are a member of one of the above groups and interested in participating in the study, please contact Ruby Warren (javascript:DeCryptX('3u2w2d1z0.2y3d0r1s1f2p2B1v0m3d3q3l0t1p2d3d203f1b')) to obtain further information on the study. This study has been approved by the Joint-Faculty Research Ethics Board. Any concerns can be directed to the Human Ethics Coordinator at 204-474-7122 or email: humanethics [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.



Jordan Bannerman, Entomology, was quoted in the article “Prairie residents tired of tent caterpillars” in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 15) –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was interviewed in the articles “Controversy over hog manure continues” and “Pork council tackles phosphorus perceptions with ad campaign” in the Western Producer (June 15) – and

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, was part of a panel discussion podcast entitled “Climate change and agriculture: How could it affect farming as we know it?” on Glacier FarmMedia’s “Between the Rows”.  You can listen on the website or download the podcast

Karin Wittenberg and Jared Carlberg were both quoted in the article “U of M receives connectivity boost” in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 9) –

A research project led by Kim Ominski, Animal Science, was featured in the article “Environmental Goods and Services: More Questions than Answers” in Canadian Cattlemen (June 2017) – see page 20 at

Will Pallister, the medal winner at Spring Convocation, was interviewed on Manitoba Farm Journal – visit and scroll to June 7 – 4:14 mark.

Will was also interviewed in the article “U of M Ag Students Preparing For Spring Convocation” on Pembina Valley Online –

The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and Glenlea Research Station were profiled on Radio-Canada –



Malunga, L., Izydorczyk, M., and Beta, T. (2017) Antiglycemic effect of water extractable arabinoxylan from wheat aleurone and bran. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism Volume 2017, Article ID 5784759, 6 pages (

Valiunas JK, Tenuta M, Das G. 2016. A Gas Cell Based on Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) and Its Application for the Detection of Greenhouse Gas (GHG): Nitrous Oxide (N2O). Journal of Sensors.

Dian Fiantis, Malik Nelson, Jusop Shamshuddin, Tee Boon Goh, Eric Van Ranst. 2016. Initial Carbon Storage in New Tephra Layers of Mt. Talang in Sumatra as Affected by Pioneer Plants. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 47(15): 1792-1812.



Applications for the 2017 Support Staff Learning Exchange are being accepted until June 30, 2017. Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by joining your University of Manitoba colleagues on October 26 to 29 and travel to the University of Ottawa where you will have the opportunity to network and learn from a counterpart who performs a job similar to yours. It is a great way to learn and share ideas and innovations.  The Support Staff Endowment Fund committee (SSEF) and Learning & Organization Development are calling for applications from full time support staff members who wish to participate in the 2017 learning exchange. This unique program supports professional development by partnering staff of the University of Manitoba with University of Ottawa employees. The learning exchange also encourages collaboration among UM staff through three full days of scheduled activities and events. For more information contact Lynn Bohonos at SSLEapplication [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

RCFFN is seeking participants for the Non-Caloric Artificial Sweetener study.  The study will investigate the changes that occur in your gut, and the changes that occur to your blood sugar regulation with regular consumption of non-caloric artificial sweeteners.  Inclusion criteria is age 18-45 years, males or females, BMI between 20-25 (i.e., normal weight).  Contact Dr Samar Ahmad, MD, MSc. 204-999-9446 or ahmads34 [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca for more information.

International students needed for a research study on food experiences. You will be required to write down what you at and drink for 3 days. You will receive a $25 grocery gift card for your participation. You must be 18-25 years old, have live in Canada 5 months to 2 years, have no dependent children, and have good conversational English skills. Info sessions June 27, 28 or 29 and focus group sessions July 4, 5, 10 or 13. To participant send an email to pillib [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca.


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