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Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
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AG e-news November 1, 2019

November 4, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Monday, November 4 – There will be a book launch at 7:30 pm at McNally Robinson Grant Park for the book “The Rise and Fall of United Grain Growers”.  For much of the twentieth century, United Grain Growers was one of the major forces in Canadian agriculture. At its peak, more than 800 UGG elevators dotted the Canadian prairies and the company had become a part of western Canada’s cultural psyche. By 2001, then known as Agricore United, it was the largest grain company on the Prairies. Paul D. Earl, a professor with the University of Manitoba, has written this look behind the UGG’s central role in the growth and transformation of the western grain industry at a critical period. The launch will include special guests Murray Cormack and Otto Lang.

Tuesday, November 5 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Germán Avila-Sakar, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg on “Growing nutritious crops for our pests: tomatoes, trichomes and herbivores”.  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, November 5 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Program Seminar will take place at 3:00 pm in the Lecture Theatre, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, with Dr. Jayadev Raju, Health Canada, presenting a seminar entitled “Food toxicology – A vital interphase of biology and chemistry research influencing food chemical safety and regulation”.

Wednesday, November 6 – The Soil Science Seminar Series will feature Dr. Chammi Attanayake, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, at 12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Topic TBA.

Thursday, November 7 –  An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Dr. Tom Fetch, Research Scientist , Morden Research & Development Centre, will present “Stem Rust Never Sleeps”.  All are welcome to attend. Coffee at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

Monday, November 11 Remembrance Day – University is closed.

Tuesday, November 12-15Fall Term Break – no classes, university is still open.

Wednesday, November 13 – The Sciences and Technology Libraries is once again hosting a Graduate Student Open House, a drop-in event from 1:00-4:00 pm in the Engineering Library. The Graduate Student Open House is an opportunity for graduate students to connect with some of the many services and resources that can facilitate their research and learning journey especially at it relates to the thesis writing cycle. There will also be two presentations: 1:00 – 2:00 pm GIS & Data Visualization Services at the UM Library, with Meg Miller, GIS and Data Visualization Librarian, Library Research Services and Digital Strategies; and 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Know Your Rights: Permissions & Use Rights for Teaching & Research, with Althea Wheeler, Copyright Strategy Manager, Office of Legal Counsel and Andrea Szwajcer, Acting Coordinator Library Research Services and Digital Strategies, University of Manitoba Library.  RSVP requested (pre-registrants will be entered to win prizes) at

Friday, November 15 – CIFST is hosting a Commercial Dairy Plant Tour in Winnipeg at 2:00 pm at Manitoba Dairy Ingredients, located at 70 Irene St, Winnipeg. Come learn about how industrial milk proteins, buttermilk and butter products are made! CIFST members are free, non-members $15.00. Register at

Tuesday, November 19 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Oliver Lung, Genomics Unit, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease on “High throughput sequencing at Canada’s Only Containment Level 3 HTS Facility: The first 3 years” .  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, November 19 – The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association is hosting a Panel Night 6 pm – 9 pm at the Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB. Admission is only $50 and includes your 2020 MFGA membership.  Come early to catch the MFGA annual general meeting at 5 pm. The Panel Night emcee is Ryan Boyd and there are three panels taking place on “Regenerative Agriculture”, “Carbon and Manitoba Grasslands” and “Research”. Emma McGeough, Animal Science, will take part in the “Research” panel. TO REGISTER for the Regen Ag Forum Nov 19 Panel Night, email denice [at] mfga [dot] net ASAP. More details at

Wednesday, November 20 – The third seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be presented by Dr. David Levin, Biosystems Engineering, at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Theatre, Rm 130 Agriculture Building.  Topic is TBA. Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the atrium.

Wednesday, November 27 – Manitoba Agriculture Industry Leadership Section is hosting a Learn and Lead Seminar – Human Resources and the Board at the Stride Centre in Portage la Prairie. The daylong event will help participants identify human resource factors that affect agriculture organizations, and will feature sessions by Janice Goldsborough, who is also an instructor with the School of Agriculture. Register by November 18. There is a registration fee of $50 per person, which includes lunch and nutrition breaks. Bring your cheque made payable to the Minister of Finance to the workshop. Reserve your spot today by emailing leadership [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca or by calling Manitoba Agriculture at 204-748-4770.

Saturday, November 30 – It is time once again for Breakfast on the Farm with Santa! Enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast at the Farm and Food Discovery Centre, take a picture with Santa and explore the farm. Events run from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Admission: $5.00 + GST per person 5+, $3.50 per child 3 – 4 years old. Pre-registration is required at ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or (204) 883-2524.

December 2-4 – The Manitoba Watersheds Conference will take place at Canad Inns. The event offers engagement with 400+ delegates from conservation, agriculture, government, and Manitoba’s 18 Conservation Districts, which spend over $10 million each year protecting Manitoba’s soil, water, habitat, and climate. Registration and draft agenda at

December 3-5 – Glacier FarmMedia is hosting the Farm Forum Event in Saskatoon, SK.  A number of faculty will be speakers including keynotes by Martin Entz, Plant Science, and David Lobb, Soil Science. Visit to learn more about the agenda.

Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12 – The 2019 Manitoba Agronomists Conference themed “On-Farm Research: Building Real World Solutions” will be held in Room 172 Agriculture Building and via webcast. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. The cost is $225.  Register by November 29 to take advantage of the early bird rate of $185. Register early for Winnipeg as space is limited. Graduate students are invited to attend as well as submit posters.  Poster requirements and deadlines as well as registration information are on the MAC website at Any inquiries can be directed to the MAC Coordinator, Laryssa Stevenson at mbagconf [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

December 17-18 – The University of Minnesota will host the 15th annual Conservation Tillage Conference at the Holiday Inn, St. Cloud. Opening keystone speaker is David Lobb, Soil Science, and soil instructor Marla Reikman will provide sessions as well There will be more than 30 speakers, including researchers and farmers experienced in applied, hands-on soil health management. To register or for more information, visit



We are pleased to announce that Rachel Sydor, Short Courses and Conference Coordinator with the School of Agriculture, has joined the Dean’s Office for a six month secondment to help address increasing workloads in the Research and Academic portfolios. She will handle public calls and enquiries, receive guests, look after industry parking requests, book room 252 Ag boardroom, as well as provide expert organizational and office management support for the Dean’s team. Rachel can be reached at rachel [dot] sydor [at] umanitoba [dot] ca and will soon take over the main line of 204-474-6026. Please drop by 256 Agriculture and welcome Rachel in her new role.

James White, P.Eng. will be serving as Engineer-in-Residence for the Department of Biosystems Engineering on a quarter-time basis. James is a professional engineer with a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, with a  career focussed on new product development and new product introduction. He spent 29 years at Parker Hannafin (formerly Vansco Electronics), which develops rugged, high tech displays, controllers and sensors targeting the harsh agricultural, construction and truck & bus environments. During the years that the company grew from 40 people to over 1,000 people with operations in five countries, James contributed as manager of various technical teams, advanced manufacturing manager, and most recently as product assurance manager. In this EIR role, James will provide team advising support to the AgBot student design competition team and coach several Biosystems Engineering capstone design teams.

Abby Koch, fourth-year student in Biosystems Engineering, is the recipient of the $5,000 Marie Carter Memorial Award through the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. The award is to honour the memory of 14 women who lost their lives in the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre. Read more about Abby at

Jitendra Paliwal, Associate Dean, was sworn in as the 100th President of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba at their Annual General meeting on Thursday, October 17.

Michele Rogalsky, School of Agriculture, was named Secretary of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association at their recent board meeting at their annual meeting in Quebec City. Michele is in her second year of a three-year term. As well, former School of Agriculture instructor Thea Green was elected to the CASA board. Thea is now a program manager with Keystone Agricultural Producers.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, gave a presentation on the Canada-China international trade dispute about canola at the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ advisory council meeting in Brandon on October 25.

And finally, the Aggie Bedpush, which ran September 27-28, just presented a giant cheque (literally – to STARS in the amount of $19,081.70 in support of the air ambulance program. Congratulations to FASO charity reps Camella Boyachek and Will Boersma for their hard work and to all the participants in this annual charitable tradition.



Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed in the article “Is a WTO win worth the hassle?” in the Western Producer (October 29) – – and in the article “Canada, China meet over canola stalemate” in Canadian Cattlemen (October 24) –

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was featured in the article “Man. researcher looks to explore cover crops” in the Western Producer (October 24) –

Digvir Jayas, Vice President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering, was featured in the article “” in the Manitoba Co-operator (October 22) –

Mario Tenuta and David Lobb, Soil Science, were quoted in the article “Researcher grades on-farm soil management” in the Western Producer (October 17) –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, and agronomy students were featured in the article “Revisiting the basics of soil sampling and testing” in the Manitoba Co-operator (October 21) –

Ryan Boyd, alumnus, and Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, were featured in the article “Two generations benefit when implementing new ideas on the farm” in the Manitoba Co-operator (October 21) –



Yang, C., and Hui, Q*. Towards novel nutritional strategies for improving bone health and eggshell quality through maintaining a desired calcium homeostasis in laying hens. Eggspertise – September 2019, P 3.

Brown, N. *, Wang, Y. *, and Yang, C. Different zinc sources may affect the acid buffering capacity of weanling pig diets. Canadian Hog Journal. Special Summer Edition, For the love of science 2019, P 39-41.

Tan, Z.*, Chekabab, S. M., Yu, H., Yin, X., Diarra, M. S., Yang, C., Gong, J. (2019). Growth and virulence of Salmonella Typhimurium mutants deficient in iron uptake. ACS Omega, 4: 13218-13230.



Graduate Students – The 2019 Manitoba Agronomists Conference  is in need of volunteers. This year’s conference is themed On-Farm Research: Building Real World Solutions and runs Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12. In return for volunteering, you will receive a free lunch and be able to attend a speaker session of your choice (standing room only please). To learn more about the volunteer roles and to fill out a volunteer form, visit


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