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AG e-news May 7, 2019

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

May 7, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Friday, May 10 – The Department of Statistics is offering the workshop “Introduction to R” 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Friday, May 10, 311 Machray Hall.  $30 course fee. Space is limited to 35 seats.  Registration deadline: May 6. To register for this workshop, please email consulting [at] stats [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Saturday, May 11Science Rendezvous 2019, a nation-wide science open house, will once again be held at the University of Manitoba campus. Bring your family down and check out the Faculty booth between 11 am and 4 pm. There are also lots of other exhibits planned, from a Chemistry Potions Class to the musical staircase to the all-new glow wall  Get your geek on and come visit!  See the complete list of activities at

Thursday, May 16 – The next RCFFN Coffee Talk will feature Itzel Vazquez, Research Associate, RCFFN, who will present “Are your health secrets hiding in your DNA?” 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Lecture Theatre, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, 196 Innovation Drive.

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

May 29-31Bridge2Food 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

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, 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:



Len Siemens, retired agronomy professor and former associate dean in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, died on April 25, 2019. He was 93.  Siemens taught many students and served as a capable administrator over his 31-year career at the University of Manitoba. His passion was in international development and he received honourary doctorates from the King of Thailand and the University of Zambia for his contributions to agricultural education in those countries. Read more at

The 112th Diploma in Agriculture Convocation took place on May 3 with 58 graduates receiving their parchments. Michelle Pottinger received the Governor General’s Bronze Medal and Dawson Sabourin received the President’s Medal.  Kim Ominski was selected as Teacher of the Year by the graduates, and Certificates of Merit were presented to Roberta Galbraith and Bill Toews. Read more at and

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 degree student Bradley Feltham who recognized Miyoung Suh, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. The School of Agriculture nominated diploma student Aman Bawa and he recognized Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics.

Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering, was named the recipient of the 2019 Faculty of Engineering Excellence in Engineering Education Award. This award recognizes the exceptional contributions of professors and educators to the quality of teaching and learning and only one recipient is selected each academic year. The presentation was made at the recent Faculty of Engineering retreat event.

Brian Amiro, Soil Science,  gave a talk at the annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists in Regina on April 11, titled “Adapting and mitigating in a changing climate: Agrologists as Leaders”. Brian also gave a talk entitled “Watching Ecosystems: the dynamics of carbon exchange” at the Manitoba Association of Plant Biologists annual meeting on May 4.

Karin Wittenberg, Animal Science, and Brian Amiro, Soil Science, gave a talk at the annual meeting of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists in Portage La Prairie on April 16 titled “Prairie Agriculture: Preparing for the Future”.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, attended the 14th Annual Conference of Manitoba Council of Administrative Tribunals Inc. (MCAT) on May 6 in Winnipeg.

Mohammed Moghadasian, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was invited to visit his collaborators in the faculty of medicine, University of Brescia, Italy. During his visit, Dr. Moghadasian gave a talk entitled “Anti-atherogenic diets: Lessons learnt from animal models” on April 23.

Two U of M researchers are collaborating to help make life a little less bitter.  Rotimi Aluko, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and Prashen Chelikani, Oral Biology, are processing proteins from green peas into compounds that attach to our taste receptors and block the bitter flavours in medicine and foods.  These technologies are available for license. (Read an earlier story on their research at

The Department of Soil Science had many connections with the “expert” soil management panel (pictured in this tweet – that presented to the Senate Committee for Agriculture and Forestry on May 2nd in Ottawa. From left to right, Soil Science’s David Lobb; Soil Science M.Sc. graduate, Cedric McLeod; a former Soil Science colleague, David Burton; and David Lobb’s father, Don Lobb. The topic of the two-hour hearing was “Soil conditions in Canada and how soil is being protected”. For more information, the video of the committee is available at:

On May 3, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced funding to Canadian researchers through the Strategic Partnership Grants program, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.  Emma McGeough, Animal Science, and Doug Cattani, Plant Science, received $806,945 for the project “Perennial forage grains for fall grazing of beef cattle.” Read more at

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, helped organize a two-day “Vector-borne Disease Surveillance Symposium and Workshop” sponsored by the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS), the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council (NFAHWC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The workshop was attended by over 30 representatives of government, industry, and academia involved in activities that contribute to vector-borne disease surveillance. It was held here in Winnipeg March 21-22.

Kyle Bobiwash, Entomology, spoke to the Red River Apiarists Association on “Polllinator and pollination variability” In Winnipeg on April 9.

Rob Currie, Entomology, spoke on research on enhancing winter survival in honey bees to the Board of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association on April 18.

The 100+ science research projects funded and overseen by the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative during its 19 years in action, including many involving University of Manitoba researchers, can now be found in a searchable database on Manitoba Pork’s website: As well, videos produced to introduce the projects and the latest science on manure management are also available for viewing: You will recognize a few of the faces and places in the videos!



Filiz Koksel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, got a shout-out about her research  in “Puffed-up Protein” in the latest UM Today The Magazine (the U of M alumni magazine Spring 2019) –

The Department of Entomology outreach team was recognized in the story “Earth Day at École Robert Browning” in the Metro weekly (May 6) –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was interviewed in the CBC story “Lyme disease threat increasing in Manitoba as black-legged tick population expands north” (May1) –

Rotimi Aluko, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was quoted in the CBC story “Pediatric allergist traces ‘mystery’ reactions to pea protein — an increasingly popular ingredient” (May 2 –

David Lobb, Soil Science, was featured on the Top Crop Manager website in the video “Making soil great again with David Lobb” (April 15) –



Xiang, J., Apea-Bah, F.B., Ndolo, V.U., Katundu, M., and Beta, T. (2019) Profile of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of finger millet varieties. Food Chemistry 275:361-368.

Moghadasian, M.H, Masisi, K., Le, K., Beta, T., Shen, G.X. and Fischer, G. 2019. The potential anti-diabetic effects of Saskatoon berry on experimental mouse models. Austin Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences 7(1): 1-5. Special Article – Advances in Nutrition.



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 and Sustainability 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. Speaker Abstracts deadline has been extended to May 24, Poster Abstract deadline is now 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 in Brandon, June 6. The Brandon event is held at the Keystone Centre for Grade 4 and 5 students to move through interactive stations. The time commitment is approximately 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. They will need class hosts each day 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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