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AG e-news May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016 — 

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



An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 17, in Room 218 Agriculture Building at 10:00 am. Dr. Ravindra N. Chibbar, Professor & Canada Research Chair, Crop Quality (Molecular Biology & Genetics), Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan will be presenting “Genomic Strategies to Improve Low Temperature Tolerance and Field Survival in Winter Cereals”.  All are welcome to attend – coffee will be available in Room 218.

The Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association is holding Weed Seedling Day on Wednesday, May 25 at the Ian N. Morrison Farm in Carman, MB from 1 pm to 3:30 pm (rain or shine). The day will include a weed seedling identification presentation and practice session. Free of charge and everyone welcome. For more info call 204-736-2331 or 204-871-5137.

It’s time once again for Campus Beautification Day on Friday, May 27 beginning at 9 am and continuing throughout the day (rain date is June 7). If you can, please volunteer some time to help make our campus beautiful, meet and have fun with co-workers and maybe win some prizes. Refreshments and lunch beginning at 11:30 on the Curry Place Walkway for all volunteers. Great door prizes include the grand prize of two airline tickets from Westjet. There will be general spring cleanup, raking, weeding, and planting flowers. There will be some extra gardening tools available, but it would be helpful if you could bring your work gloves, spades and rakes (if you have), and wear suitable footwear. For more information visit

The Department of Food Science will be offering the short course “Pasteurization of Milk and Liquid Foods I” on June 1 and 2.  Please register by either fax or (474-7630), payment is accepted via cheque, money order or money transfer made out to the University of Manitoba and must be made prior to the commencement of the course. If you need any further information contact Gwendolyn [dot] Band [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. Cost is $575.00 per person (includes all instructional and practical sessions, course manual, nutrition breaks, parking, certificate upon completion). Registration deadline is May 16.

The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is excited to offer the “Preserving Summer’s Bounty Workshop Series” led by food writer and professional home economist Getty Stewart all about food preservation, from herbs to berries and fruit and canning.  Workshops run May to June and all 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.

The 2nd Annual Northern Great Plains Lipids Conference will be held June 11-12 in Grand Forks, ND.  This meeting will continue to build on last year’s successful conference, which saw researchers from Manitoba and North Dakota share expertise related to lipids.  Registration, housing and abstract submission information can be found at

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 training is a one-year certificate 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

Book now for the 2016 Crop Diagnostic School Staff Student Day, scheduled for Tuesday July 5 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm, Carman Manitoba. The day will run 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Registration is limited and costs $50. Lunch and refreshments provided.  School will run, rain or shine, Please dress accordingly. For additional information, contact:  Program – Anatasia Kubinec at 1-204-750-2717; Registration – Monika Menold at 1-204-745-5663.

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



The annual Students’ Teacher Recognition Reception gives outstanding graduating students an opportunity to honour teachers who have made important contributions to their education. Recognizing that academic growth and development occurs over many years, the selected students are asked to select two teachers: one from their Kindergarten to Grade 12 years, and one from their years at the University of Manitoba. The Faculty nominated Human Nutritional Sciences student Brianne Collette who recognized Miyoung Suh. The School of Agriculture nominated Diploma student Devin Pouteau and he recognized Colin Penner.

The 2016 School of Agriculture Convocation was held on May 6 with 70 graduates receiving their diplomas. The ceremony had not one provincial minister but two in attendance– Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler and Minister of Education Ian Wishart. Several awards were also presented at the event. Colin Penner was selected as Teacher of the Year by the first and second year students, and Certificates of Merit were presented to Marlene Baskerville and Kelly Beaulieu. Read more at

Don Petkau, Biosystems Engineering, received the “Faculty of Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering Education” award at the Faculty of Engineering Retreat on April 28.

Two members of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Chad Lawley received a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for $174,783 for the project “Returns to Land Conservation Investment in Canada”.  Julieta Frank received a SSHRC Insight Grant of $98,622 over 5 years for the project “Cost of liquidity in electronically traded agricultural commodities”.

Karin Wittenberg, Dean, travelled to Montreal as a part of the Dairy Farmers of Canada Cluster Advisory Committee.  The Advisory Committee has been active in reviewing research proposals and annual reports.

Karin also had a very successful trip to China where she was able to meet with academic representatives and students from the Universities of Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Huazhong University, Lanzhou University and Inner Mongolia Agriculture University.  Qiang Zhang, Biosystems Engineering, who has an active research program at the NUFE accompanied Karin on this trip.  She also went to Hong Kong to meet with alumni of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. As well as being gracious hosts, they helped define the value of an education at the University of Manitoba.

Yuan (Linda) Zhou, M.Sc. candidate in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, received the second place graduate-student level poster award ($100) at a conference co-hosted by the Alberta Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) and the Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology Graduate Students Association entitled Visions 2016 – Growing Agriculture in Changing Climates: Economic, Environmental, and Social held April 28-29 in Red Deer, AB. Her presentation and poster were titled “Assessing Market Premiums for Organic Certification among Canadian Community Supported Agriculture Programs”.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science gave a seminar in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, recently on the host-pathogen interaction of canola and the blackleg pathogen. Dilantha’s presentation was titled “Do genes hitchhike and play hide-and-seek? Lessons from the canola-blackleg storybook”. Canola is a fairly new crop in the Pacific North West and they are already dealing with blackleg. Dilantha is working with scientists from Oregon, Washington and Idaho on their new disease.

Terry Galloway, Entomology, and Laura Grzenda, Manitoba Agriculture, participated in “Dig It! Soil Science Symposium” at Fort Whyte Alive on May 6.  They spoke with 70 high school students from across southern Manitoba about the wonders of soil arthropods.  Using the microscope and projector system at Fort Whyte Alive, they illustrated insects, mites, millipedes, and centipedes extracted from forest and grassland soils on site and discussed specialized adaptations to life in the soil.

Craig Leung, undergraduate student with Mashiur Rahman in Biosystems Engineering, presented his thesis work in a poster format at the Manitoba Undergraduate Healthcare Symposium Research Competition on May 8 at the Brodie Centre Atrium, Health Sciences Centre, University of Manitoba. His poster was entitled “The Relationship between Human Physiological Conditions and Surface Abrasion on Prosthetic Graft Materials”.

Debora Giordano presented a paper co-authored by M. Blandino, A. Reyneri & T. Beta on “Phenolic acid and antioxidant activity evolution during kernel development of colored corn grain and relationship with mycotoxin contamination” at the 15th European Young Cereal Scientists and Technologists Workshop (EYCSTW) held in Milan/Bergamo, Italy April 26-29. The EYCSTW is a platform for young research scientists to exchange with their peers on the latest research in cereal science. Debora is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Science, University of Turin, Grugliasco, Italy. She is being tutored by Drs. A. Reyneri and M. Blandino in Turin and Trust Beta in Manitoba.

Kabo Masisi, Ph.D. candidate in Food Science, made an oral presentation on “Cardiovascular benefits of dietary corn fractions in low density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice” at the 2016 Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS) Annual Meeting held in Gatineau, Quebec, May 5 to 7. Kabo was one of the eight finalists for an oral presentation in the CNS Nutrition Graduate Student and Trainee Competition. As one of the eight finalists, Kabo was recognized at the CNS Awards Banquet held on May 7.

Trust Beta, Food Science, participated in a Policy Workshop on Agroecology-Based Smallholder Farming in Malawi held at Ufulu Gardens, Lilongwe on May 10. The workshop informed stakeholders on results achieved so far under the Malawi Farmer to Farmer Agroecology (MAFFA) project. Under this project which began in 2013, Trust Beta and Susan Arntfield have been compiling data on nutritional profiles of cereal and legume crops grown in central and northern Malawi. Trust Beta also attended steering committee and project management meetings held following the policy workshop.



Evans, R., Y. Lawley, and M. H. Entz. “Fall-seeded cereal cover crops differ in ability to facilitate low-till organic bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) production in a short-season growing environment.” Field Crops Research 191 (2016): 91-100.

Jun, Xiong, and Mashiur Rahman (2016). Mechanical Property Measurement and Prediction Using Hirsch’s Model for Glass Yarn Reinforced Polyethylene Composite Fabric Formwork, J Textile Sci Eng 6:241. doi:10.4172/2165-8064.1000241.



Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, talked about how to protect yourself from ticks on Global News Morning (May 10) and on CTV News (May 11) – and

The Department of Entomology hosted the CTV Morning Live remote (May 11). Alejandro Costamagna talked about beneficial insects (unfortunately had a transmission issue and was cut short):  Kateryn Rochon talked about how to protect yourself from mosquitoes: Lisa Babey talked about native bees and other pollinators: Zach Polk talked about how to protect yourself from ticks: And Rob Currie talked about the truth and myths about wasps and how to control them:

Colin Penner, School of Agriculture, and Chelsea Boonstra, recent Diploma in Agriculture grad, had videos of their farming operations featured on the Agriculture More Than Ever blog. Watch them at

Myrna Grahn, Discovery Centre, was quoted in a Global News story on the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Panel in “Better Winnipeg: Researchers serve-up unique study on food” –



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.

Last issue we noted the announcement of alum Weldon Newton’s induction into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame but we missed highlighting Gordon McPhee (DipAgric/60), who was also a U of M Certificate of Merit recipient from 1992. Gordon is known as is known as one of the pioneers of zero tillage in the province. The induction ceremony will take place in July.


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