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AG e-news March 24, 2017

March 24, 2017 — 

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


Monday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 29– The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences invites you to open presentations by Dr. Myrle Ballard, Candidate for Indigenous Scholar (Assistant Professor). Monday, March 27, 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m., Room 252 Agriculture Building – Coffee and chat with Dr. Myrle Ballard. Drop in anytime. Monday, March 27, 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Room 134 Agriculture Building – Research Seminar: “Neegan Ii’nabin: Planning Ahead”. Wednesday, March 29, 9:30 a.m – 10:20 a.m., Room 138 Agriculture Building – Teaching Seminar: “Sustainable Livelihoods: Piimachiiwin Akhi”.

Tuesday, March 28 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Nicola Koper, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, on “Effects of oil and gas development on grassland songbirds”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building.

Tuesday, March 28 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Kelsey Fehr, M.Sc. student, will make the scientific presentation “Mammary microbiome and udder health: The role of Nutrition” and Jordan Dahmer, M.Sc. student, will make the scientific presentation “The effect of processing condition on nutritive value of canola meal for broiler chickens”. All are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, March 29 – A Department of Soil Science Seminar will feature Ulysse Vallée‐Godbout, Candidat à la maitrise en génie des eaux, Université Laval who will present “An Overview of The Bulstrode River Watershed” at  12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building.

Thursday, March 30 – The National Farmers Union – Manitoba invites you to take part in their Regional Convention at Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie. Fore more information, visit

Tuesday, April 4 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Angie Cerilli, M.Sc. student, will make the extension presentation “Strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of cattle: The consumed and the consumer” and Samuel Ariyibi, M.Sc. student, will make the poster presentation “Standardized ileal amino acid digestibility of canola meal in broiler chickens in relation to the processing condition”. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, April 4 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled “Diet and quality of life assessment in Canadian elite level curlers” will be presented by graduate student Brianne Collette at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.

Thursday, April 13 – The Manitoba Institute of Agrologists will hold its 2017 Professional Development and Annual General Meeting at the William Glesby Centre, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. More details and registration at

Friday, April 14 – The University is closed for Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 19 – The ninth and final seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building.  Dr. Jason Gibbs, Department of Entomology, will present “Bees gone wild: The taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of the other 20,000 bees”.  Refreshments will be available at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

April 24-26 – The Agricultural Institute of Canada will be holding its 2017 conference in Winnipeg. The theme is “Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Environment”. The conference will foster important discussions among policy makers, industry stakeholders, entrepreneurs and the research community about agriculture’s impact on the environment in a changing climate. AIC 2017 will also showcase world-class innovative research taking place across Canada and explore how green growth in the sector can build on a strong scientific, evidence-based foundation. Visit to stay up to date.

Friday, May 5 – MCWESTT 2017, a local, one-day conference dedicated to connecting women in engineering, science, trades, and technology, and empowering them to Create, Foster, and Lead. Master of Ceremonies for the day will be Winnipeg based comedian Dana Smith, and keynote speakers include Susan Auch, Shari Graydon and Sarah Neville. Register online at For the first time ever, MCWESTT 2017 is offering a full day pre-conference workshop on Thursday, May 4. The WinSETT Effective Communication workshop will be facilitated by Edna Dach with guest speakers Trish Jordan and Dawn Nedohin-Macek. Thanks to the generous partnership of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering – Prairies, this workshop is available at a significantly discounted rate of only $75, exclusively for our conference participants. Be sure to register early as the workshop is limited to only 30 participants.

May 10-11 – A National Microbiome Workshop on “Statistical Challenges and Opportunities for the Analysis of Microbiome Data”will take place in Winnipeg at the Apotex Building, 750 McDermot Ave, University of Manitoba. Co-organized by Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, the event will feature a number of national and international speakers who are leading the research in this field. The workshop is free of charge to accommodate attendance of researchers and highly qualified personnel but there is a registration deadline of May 1. For more information please visit

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



Digvir Jayas, vice president (research and international) and Distinguished Professor, Biosystems Engineering, has been appointed as chair of the Board of Management of TRIUMF. Based in Vancouver, TRIUMF is Canada’s national laboratory for accelerator-based science and nuclear and particle physics research. In the role of board chair, Digvir provides strategic direction and operational oversight for the laboratory and its partnerships. He works in close collaboration with TRIUMF Director Jonathan Bagger in communicating the laboratory’s vision and engaging both member universities and federal agencies to help further TRIUMF’s goals and priority projects such as the completion of its flagship facility, the Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL).

David Lobb and Don Flaten, Soil Science, will deliver the 2017 William E. Larson and Raymond R. Allmaras Lecture on Emerging Issues in Soil and Water at the University of Minnesota on April 21. They will present “Sources of Sediments and Phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg: Matching Causes with Cures”.

James Tucker, Ph.D. student co-supervised by Dilantha Fernando (Plant Science) and Ana Badea (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), was a recipient of the Seed of the Year – West scholarship. This is a competitive award for students from a western Canadian university (University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan, or the University of Manitoba) and currently enrolled in a M.Sc. or Ph.D. program with specialization in plant breeding or genetics.  James is researching the application of genome-wide markers to conduct genomic selection in two-row barley to improve fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance and lower deoxynivalenol (DON) content.  (

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, presented the seminar “Genetic Determinants of Circulating Lipid Levels in Humans: Are We Ready for Personalized Nutrition?” at the Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 23.

Animal Science’s Martin Nyachoti and his graduate students, Jongwoong Kim, Bonjin Koo, and Gustavo Mejicanos and postdoctoral fellow Md. Manik Hossain attended the annual Midwest Animal Science Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska from March 12-15. Martin gave an invited talk on” Use of Low protein Diets for Weaned Pigs” at the David Baker Amino Acid Symposium while each of the students gave oral presentations and Manik made a poster presentation.

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was an invited visitor to Michigan State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and Department of Horticulture, on March 22-24. Mario gave a seminar, met with graduate students and faculty, and visited MSU research institutes.

Mario is also an invited guest to  Potato New Brunswick, in Florenceville, NB March 29-30. Mario will give a seminar and have discussions with agronomists morning of March 29, then a seminar and discussion with growers afternoon of March 29. On March 30 he meets with potato researchers from AAFC Fredericton and Province of New Brunswick.

The annual meeting of the IDRC-funded Microveg project ( was held at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN), University of Manitoba, March 16 and 17. The meeting, which focused on the value-addition component was hosted by Dr. Rotimi Aluko, one of the Principal Investigators for the project. There were four attendees from the Republic of Benin and six attendees from Nigeria, the two countries where the project is primarily located. In addition, the meeting was attended by the U of M staff and students working on the project. The meeting received welcome addresses from Digvir Jayas (VP Research and International), Karin Wittenberg (Dean Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences), James House (Head Dept of Human Nutritional Sciences) and Peter Jones (Director, RCFFN).

Michael Trevan, Food Science, as invited to travel to Nova Scotia to be a judge at the 2nd annual 4-H Canada Science Fair in Truro.  From the 18 candidates, each of whom had been previously selected by their respective Provincial 4-H organizations, five were chosen to move on to the National Science Fair competition in May.

Jereme Biney, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, defended her M.Sc. thesis entitled “The Effects of Untying Canadian Food Aid on the Price Sensitivity of Commodity Procurement Decisions”. External examiner was Ben Ofori from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The Faculty’s Student Ambassadors have been hard at work promoting Faculty programs and diversity of agricultural and food sciences career opportunities this academic year. To date, presentations have been given in 24 Manitoba schools with emphasis on the farther South West region of the province and up into the Dauphin area. Close to 900 students from grades 10 through 12 have attended these presentations. Additionally, the presentation was delivered at U of M’s own Migizii Agamik which helped strengthen Faculty communications with Indigenous Student Recruitment staff who are keen to continue partnering with the Faculty in future high school student campus visits. With the addition of high school presentations in the inner city/North end parts of the city as well as some upcoming, on-campus events involving high school audiences, this reach will easily extend to over 1,000. Through these activities, plus the no fewer than 10 career symposia held throughout the year, our Student Ambassadors will have reached thousands of high school aged students, their advisors and parents.

As part of the recent 50th anniversary celebration of the Canola Council of Canada at their annual convention, the website was launched. The site features an interactive timeline that highlights pivotal achievements since the first time rapeseed was grown on the Canadian Prairies, 80 years ago, including many University of Manitoba accomplishments. The Canola Council also released several videos, including one entitled “Canadian Gold: The Story of Canola Innovation” which features the “fathers of canola” Dr. Keith Downey and the University of Manitoba’s Dr. Baldur Stefansson.



Dylan MacKay, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, and Peter Eck, Human Nutritional Sciences, did an interview with CTV regarding the GenePredict study –

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Organic agriculture no panacea: study” in the Manitoba Co-operator (March 23) –

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was interviewed in the article “Thawing soil larger causation of climate change than previously thought” in the Manitoban (March 22) –

Belay Ayele, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Genes can control pre-harvest sprouting” in Grainews (March 21) –

Brian Amiro, Soil Science, was interviewed in the article “Is climate change making leaf diseases worse?” in Country Guide (March 17) –

Thea Green, School of Agriculture, was quoted in the article “U of M hopes to expand machine safety training” in Grainews (March 15) and the tractor safety workshop was further highlighted in the article “U of M holds first tractor safety day” – and

Research conducted by Kabo Masisi, recent Ph.D. graduate of Trust Beta and co-supervised by Mohammed Moghadasian, on corn fractions and atherogenesis was featured on ICI (March 14) – The full article on “Dietary corn fractions reduce atherogenesis in low density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice” was published in Nutrition Research 37:87-96 (2017)



Owens, PN, WH Blake, L Gaspar, D Gateuille, AJ Koiter, DA Lobb, EL Petticrew, DG Reiffarth, HG Smith, JC Woodward. (2016). Fingerprinting and tracing the sources of soils and sediments: Earth and ocean science, geoarchaeological, forensic, and human health applications. Earth‐Science Reviews 162:1‐23.

Yu, L., Li, G., Li, M., Xu, F., and Beta, T. and Bao, J. (2016) Genotypic variation in phenolic acids, vitamin E and fatty acids in whole grain rice. Food Chemistry 197:776–782.

Kim, J.W., S.P. Ndou, G. Mejicanos, and C.M. Nyachoti. 2017. Standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus in flaxseed meal fed to growing and finishing pigs without or with phytase supplementation. J. Anim. Sci. 95:799–805; doi:10.2527/jas2016.1045.

Regassa, A., J.S. Sands, M.C. Walsh, W.K. Kim, E. Kiarie, and C.M. Nyachoti. 2017.  Nutritional and metabolic implications of replacing corn starch with D-xylose in broiler chickens fed corn and soybean meal based diet. Poult. Sci. 96:388-396.

Kahindi, R.K., P.A. Thacker, S.I. Lee, I.H. Kim, and C.M. Nyachoti. 2017. Performance and phosphorus utilization of broilers fed low phytate and pea based diets with graded levels of inorganic phosphorus. Ann. Anim. Sci. 17:205-215.

Zhang G.L., X.F. Sun, Y.Z. Feng, B. Li, Y.P. Li, F. Yang, C.M. Nyachoti, W. Shen, S.D. Sun, and L. Li. 2017. Zearalenone exposure impairs ovarian primordial follicle formation via down-regulation of Lhx8 expression in vitro. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 317:33-40.

Meale SJ, Li SC, Azevedo P, Derakhshani H, DeVries TJ, Plaizier JC, Steele MA‡, and Khafipour E‡. 2017. Weaning age influences the severity of gastrointestinal microbiome shifts in dairy calves. Sci. Rep. 7: 198. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00223-7.

Qasem W†, Azad MB, Hossain Z, Azad E, Jorgensen S, San Juan SC, Cai C, Khafipour E, Beta T, Roberts II LJ, and Friel J. 2017. Assessment of complementary feeding of Canadian infants: effects on microbiome & oxidative stress, a randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatr. 17:54. doi: 10.1186/s12887-017-0805-0.

Plaizier JC‡, Li S, Danscher AM, Derakshani H, Andersen PH3, and Khafipour E‡. 2017. Changes in microbiota in rumen digesta and feces due to a grain-based subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) challenge. Microbiol. Ecol. doi:10.1007/s00248-017-0940-z.

Claudia Narváez-Bravo, Argenis Rodas-González, Chunming Ding, Oscar López-Campos, Jayson Galbraith, Ivy L. Larsen, Jin Ye, Dan Siegel and Jennifer L. Aalhus. 2016. Effects of novel nitrite packaging film on the bacterial growth of bison strip-loin steaks. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. DOI: 10.1111/jfpp.13311.

Alemu, A., K.H. Ominski, M. Tenuta, B.D. Amiro, and E. Kebreab. 2016. Evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions from hog manure application in a Canadian cow‐calf production system using whole‐farm models. Animal Production Science 56: 1722‐1737.



Fiscal Year End – Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2017 is just around the corner. Visit our Year End at the University website ( to review the Year End Guidelines & Schedule for 2016-17 which includes frequently asked questions, key deadline dates, checklists & your Financial Services contacts to help you through the process.

Food Quality Study Volunteers still needed for tasting chili and muffins with lentils and peas. Criteria: no food allergies, 18 yrs and older. Commitment: one session, Approx. 30 min. Sessions still available for the week of March 28 – Tues Wed Thurs 11:30, 12:30 or 1:30. Where: Fourth Floor Human Ecology Building. Honorarium provided. Contact Donna at donna [dot] ryland [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-8071 for more information and to sign up.

Volunteers needed for a nutrition study on non-caloric sweeteners. Are you between 18-45 years old? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study to examine the effects of zero-caloric sweeteners on blood sugar and gut microbiome.  If you are interested or would like more information please call 204-999-9446 or email ahmads34 [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca.

GenePredict Study Volunteers Needed – Do you have high cholesterol and are between the ages of 18-70?  RCFFN is looking for participants for a GenePredict study, see our website for more information

The ICAN-WISE Scholarship is a scholarship aimed at facilitating women mentee-mentor academic research collaborations in natural sciences and engineering fields.  Six scholarships valued at $6,000 each are available in 2017 (two for Manitoba). The funding is the students’s stipend while working with their mentor on a research project in the summer of 2017. For info, see:  Application Deadline: April 24, 2017.

Manitoba Open Farm Day – Agriculture organizations and farms wishing to register for Manitoba Open Farm Day on Sunday September 17, 2017 may go to and click on Register Your Farm – Scroll down and click on “register your farm HERE.”  The deadline for farms to register is April 28.


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