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AG e-news May 23, 2019

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

May 23, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


May 24-25 – At the upcoming Science Writers of Canada national conference being held in Winnipeg, there will be a panel presentation featuring Michel Aliani, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, on the topic “How to break through to consumers with truth vs myth on science and health.” Learn more at

Tuesday, May 28 – The Plant Peddlers Dragon Boat Racing Team is raising funds with a Charity BBQ to support The Dream Factory Join them at noon in the Plant Science Courtyard. The BBQ is free – donations welcome.

Tuesday, May 28 – There will be a Soil Science M.Sc. Thesis Defense at 1:00 pm in 346 Elllis Building. Tony Britton will present “Determining evapotranspiration and crop coefficient values using an adjusted Penman-Monteith equation over canola (brassica napus) in southern Manitoba”.

May 29-31 – Bridge2Food is hosting the 12th Plant Protein Ingredients Summit 2019 in Saskatoon, SK, and Jim House, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, will be one of the speakers on the topic “Protein Nutrition: What is a ‘good protein’? Challenges of Brands to use Proteins”. Learn more at

Thursday, May 30 – It’s time once again for Campus Beautification Day beginning at 9 am go until noon (rain date is May 31). 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. Lunch time BBQ will be at the Active Living Centre’s Agora for all volunteers. Coordination Stations will be EITC and Physical Plant and each will be stocked with donuts, coffee and project ideas.  For more information visit

June 2-8 – The University of Manitoba is preparing to get active this June for another year of Commuter Challenge – a friendly week-long competition that challenges participants to walk, cycle, carpool or bus to school or work. Register today, download the app and encourage your friends to get involved. Commuters will be entered to win prizes simply by signing up and have bonus entries for logging their commute! If you already walk, bike, carpool or take the bus to campus, they want to know! Sign up to see the impact you are making and to win great prizes.

June 11-14 – The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) 2019 Conference will be hosted by the University of Manitoba, Red River College and Universite de Saint-Boniface at the RBC Convention Centre with the theme “Guiding the Journey: Learner-Teacher-Learner.” Complete details and registration 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 Speaker Competition abstract deadline Friday, May 24; Student Poster Competition abstract deadline Friday, May 31. Student registration is $20, all others $30 – includes coffee, snacks and lunch. To learn more and to submit abstracts or 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 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 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 24CROPS-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



Last issue, we reported on the annual Students’ Teacher Recognition Reception on May 6 and missed noting that Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, was recognized by the outstanding Engineering student Sarah Currie as her university teacher honouree. Read more at

Vivian Bruce (B.Sc.H.Ec./1953, M.Sc./1961), retired Human Nutritional Sciences professor, will be invested into the Order of Manitoba this summer. Dr. Bruce was instrumental in conducting the first research exploring the health benefits of canola oil and establishing its unique nutritional properties. The Order of Manitoba was established in 1999 to honour Manitobans who have demonstrated excellence and achievement, thereby enriching the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents. Read more at

Biosystems Engineering student Amanda Anderson was selected to receive the Student Affairs Participation Award, which includes a cash prize. This award honours a student at the University of Manitoba who has maintained high academic achievement while demonstrating exceptional leadership qualities in making a significant voluntary contribution to the university and/ or broader community. Amanda is the president of UMEARTH (University of Manitoba Efficient and Renewable Technology Hub), which has over 80 active members and thanks to Amanda is now internationally affiliated with Student Energy which allows students to collaborate with universities across the world on sustainability related issues. She is also the secretary for the Canadian Society for Bioengineering Student Group, as well as a teaching assistant, a peer tutor and a volunteer with GoEngGirl and UMCycle.

Eduardo Dubinsky, the Founder and first President of  the Argentine Society of Fats and Oils (ASAGA)  and  a former President of the Latin American Section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, recently requested  permission from Michael Eskin, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, to allow him to translate his lipid raps into Spanish. Dr. Dubinsky  intends to use them  in a fats and oil class he teaches at  a postgraduate college in Buenos Aires.

Usha Thiyam-Hollander, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and her Ph.D. student Ruchira Nandasiri attended the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) conference in St. Louis, Missouri, USA  May 5-8. At the conference, Usha was a guest speaker at the special session to honour Dr. Michael Eskin’s 50 years of research in fats and oils where she gave a presentation on “Mustard and Canola-Derived Canolol: Challenges and Opportunities”. Ruchira received the student travel award for the lipid quality and oxidation division and presented his poster titled “Antioxidative polyphenols of canola meal: Effect of high pressure, temperature, and solvents”. Usha was elected the vice-chair for the processing division for 2019-2020 and attended the executive committee meeting. In the past she has served the lipid oxidation and quality division as chair, vice-chair, secretary/treasurer and member-at/large.

Mohammed Moghadasian, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, visited Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan, Iran on May 4. He and his collaborators submitted a grant application to NIMAD agency (an equivalent to CIHR) to investigate mechanisms of cardiovascular benefits of curcumin in subjects with familial hypercholestrolemia. 

Rob Currie, Entomology, spoke to the Red River Apiarists Association on May 14 about the impact of varroa mites and viruses on honey bees. Then on May 23, Rob Currie was in Calgary for Genome Canada LSARP interviews.

Twelve CIFST Manitoba section volunteers judged agri-food projects again at this year’s Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. Over $2100 was awarded to 27 bright young budding scientists in the Special Awards category on behalf of 16 food industry and association sponsors.  Each year the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals hands out RCFFN Special Awards.  Senior Winner – Aya Bengassem, Gr 9 at Al-higra Islamic School. Her project was “Stop it Cancer! Cinnamon will fight you!” Aya looked at yeast as surrogate for cancer cell reproduction and testing the impact of sugar, cinnamon extract and sugar and cinnamon extract on yeast cell growth. She found that cinnamon extract decreased yeast growth and concluded that it may be applicable for cancer reduction. Junior Winner – Annika Tenant, Gr 5 at Linden Christian School. The title of her project was “Rock Candy – Sweet Science”. Anikka looked at the impact of different starting materials such as sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, organic raw sugar on the ability to make rock candy. She found that white sugar was the most suitable because of its sugar types and structures.



Diploma grads from 2018 Bailey Sigvaldson, Carter McKinney and Jake Ayre are featured in a one-year follow up story “Where are they now?” in KAP’s Farmers Voice (Spring 2019) – go to page 10 at

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the CBC News story “What U.S. flooding could mean for Canada’s Prairie farmers” (May 23) –

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was noted in the article “Untying food aid in Canada: Policy matters” in The Hill Times (May 22) – can be accessed by those with a UM account at

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Soil degradation the forgotten issue” in the Alberta Farm Express (May 21) – and in the article “Senator shines light on improved soil health” in the Western Producer (May 23) –

Work done by David Lobb and Don Flaten, Soil Science, was cited in an opinion piece “Counterpoint: Further perspectives on the ‘run-down’ Minnesota River” in the Star Tribune (Minnesota) on May 20 –

Reede Hawton, graduating HNS student, was featured in the UM Today story “‘Embrace the experience,’ advises ag graduand” (May 13) –

Vivian Bruce, retired Human Nutritional Sciences researcher, was interviewed on The Manitoba Farm Journal about her induction into the Order of Manitoba – listen to May 17 episode at the 20:30 mark at

The research done by Kristen MacMillan and Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was featured in the article “Check the calendar, or the thermometer when deciding to plant soybeans?” in the Country Guide (May 15) –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was interviewed for the article “Farmers at high risk for tick exposure” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 10) –

Keith Bamford, Plant Science, was interviewed in the article “Hairy vetch cover crops provide mulch, control weeds” in the Western Producer (May 9) –

Jason Gibbs, Entomology, was interviewed in the article “A valuable gift of butterflies” on UM Today (May 9) – and on CTV News (May 9).

Michelle Pottinger, recent Diploma in Agriculture grad, was interviewed on The Manitoba Farm Journal about her academic journey and future plans – listen to the May 8 episode at the 17:00 mark at

Natalie Riediger, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was interviewed by several media outlets:
-“Would you cut down on sugary drinks if they carried special tax? U of M researcher asks” on CBC News (May 6) –
-“U of M team researching effects of tax on sugary drinks” on CTV News Winnipeg (May 8) –
-“University of Manitoba prof studying effects of possible sugar tax in Canada” on CTV News National (May 12) –
-“Une taxe diminuerait-elle la consommation de boissons sucrées?” on Radio-Canada (May 7)-



Nicolas Devillers, Emmanuel Janvier, Farhoud Delijani, Steve Méthot, Kristopher J. Dick , Qiang Zhang  and Laurie Connor. 2019. Effect of Slat and Gap Width of Slatted Concrete Flooring on Sow Gait Using Kinematics Analysis.  Animals 2019, 9, 206; doi:10.3390/ani9050206

Malla, Stavroula, and Derek G. Brewin. 2019. “Crop research, biotech canola, and innovation policy in Canada: Challenges, opportunities, and evolution.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d’agroeconomie 67, no. 2 (2019): 135-150



Call for Abstracts – On June 26, graduate students across departments and faculties (arts, agricultural and food sciences, biological sciences, environment, engineering) – in conjunction with the Food Systems Research Group – are putting on the second annual Food Systems Student Symposium. Graduate students from ANY department at the University of Manitoba wanting to share their research towards understanding and improving our shared food system  are invited to submit an abstract. Student Presentation Abstracts deadline has been extended to May 24 and posters abstracts deadline to May 31. More information at

The University of Manitoba Employees Scholarship (UMES) is a scholarship that is available to the spouse or dependent children of University of Manitoba employees or retired former employees. The deadline to submit applications for the UMES scholarship is May 31, 2019. Applications can be found online at

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 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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