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AG e-news November 27, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

November 27, 2018 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Wednesday, November 28 – Join the students in the Atrium from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm for the annual Head Shave and Shine in support of the Movember Foundation.  There will be a BBQ lunch and a Moustache Competition with prizes for top student and top professor!

Wednesday, November 28 – The fall Food Systems Research Group research knowledge sharing series continues with the seminar “Shortcuts, mixes, and the transformation of American home baking: The Pillsbury Bake-Off and the promotion of convenience foods, 1949-1969” by Dr. Sarah Elvins, Associate Professor of the Department of History at 1:30 pm in 409 Tier Building.

Thursday, November 29 – Join us for Coffee Talk at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, as Kalynn Spain, Recruitment, Job Placement and Cooperative Education Coordinator, University of Manitoba, speaks about the Cooperative Education Program at 10 am in the RCFFN Lecture Theatre.

Thursday, November 29 – There will be a M.Sc. (Human Nutritional Sciences) Thesis Defense at 2:15 pm in Room 200B Human Ecology Building. Hibah Khawar will present “Energy and Nutrient Intake Among University Students Enrolled In An Introductory Nutrition Course”.

Saturday, December 1 – Come out to the Farm and Food Discovery Centre for Breakfast with Santa on the Farm. Enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast on the farm, take a picture with Santa and join in on some outdoor winter activities. Pre-registration required, activities between 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Cost: $5.00 plus GST per person ages 5+, $3.50 plus GST per child 3-4 years old. For more information and to book your breakfast time, please contact our Discovery Centre Coordinator at (204) 883-2524 or ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Tuesday, December 4 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held in 219 Animal Science Building at 10:00 am. Sidonie Robinson, M.Sc. student, will be giving an extension presentation on “The use of byproducts in greenhouse gas mitigation in beef cattle”.  Brandon Hanson, M.Sc. student, will be giving an extension presentation on “Current status of by-products in the Canadian cattle industry”. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, December 4 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Daniel Cariveau, University of Minnesota, on “Restoration, rarity and the conservation ecology of native bee communities”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, December 4 – BioScience Association of Manitoba announces that Dr. David Hughes, an international speaker on global food and drink industry issues, will be speaking with the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals staff and students on the influence of research on current and future trends in the healthy foods industry. His presentation “The Impact and Role of Research in the Healthy Foods Industry” will take place at 11 am (registration at 10:30 am) at the Richardson Centre Lecture Theatre. Event is free, pre-reigster at

Wednesday, December 5 – The Soil Science Seminar Series will feature Nora Casson, Dept. of Geography, University of Winnipeg at 12:30 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Topic TBA.

Thursday, December 6 – There will be a Ph.D. (Human Nutritional Sciences) Oral Examination at 10:00 am in 339A University Centre. Ifeanyi Nwachukwu will present “Functional and Bioactive Properties of Flaxseed Proteins and Peptides”.

Thursday, December 6 – There will be a Soil Science M.Sc. Defense presented by Matthew Wood at 1:00 pm on 346 Ellis Building. Matthew will present “Right source and right time: reducing nitrous oxide emissions with enhanced efficiency nitrogen fertilizers”.

Tuesday, December 11 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Laurence Packer, York University, on “Extreme bees in extreme environments”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Wednesday, December 12 – The Prairie Livestock Expo at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg features a number of Faculty speakers. See full details of the event at

Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13 – The 2018 Manitoba Agronomists Conference themed “Adaptive Crop Management: Dealing with Agronomic Production & Market Risks” will be held in Room 172 Agriculture Building and via webcast. Registration is now open. The cost is $225.  Register by November 30 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, Rachel Sydor at mbagconf [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-8473.

February 7-8, 2019 – The 62nd Annual Manitoba Soil Science Society Meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn South, 1330 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg. Details are available at:

February 19-21, 2019 – Mark your calendars for the 12th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference.  Connect with scientists, landowners, consultants, educators, nature enthusiasts, land managers, and others to share information and new approaches to conservation, agriculture and the protection of prairie landscapes and native species.  Location will be the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Winnipeg, MB and the theme is “Working Landscapes”. For more info, visi



The University of Manitoba elected author and philanthropist Anne Mahon as its new chancellor effective June 1, 2019 for a three-year term. She will succeed the current chancellor, Dr. Harvey Secter. Anne Mahon holds a Bachelor of Human Ecology from the University of Manitoba. Ms. Mahon is an oral history writer and has written two books, one about African refugees and one about former Winnipeg gang members. In her volunteer work, she has lent considerable time and effort to international development, through Humankind International, and to supporting immigrants and refugees through the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. She has also been involved in numerous philanthropic causes, including UNICEF Canada and the United Way of Winnipeg. She is the founder and co-facilitator of the Book Mates Book Club at the Women’s Correction Centre.

Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering, has been appointed as the Interim President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for a one-year period.

At the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Canadian Society of Agronomy annual meetings held November 4-7, Kristen MacMillan, Plant Science, was recognized by the American Society of Agronomy Extension Education Community with a 2018 Certificate of Excellence in Extension Educational Materials for the “Soybean and Dry bean Growth Staging Guides and Soybean Maturity Guide” in the category of Publications 16 pages or less. The extension materials are part of a collection produced and distributed by Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, was on the University of Manitoba campus on November 14 to announce investments in the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program, including the renewal of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences’ Trust Beta as CRC in Grain-Based Functional Foods. Read more at

The Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, visited the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus yesterday to meet with President David Barnard and Distinguished Professor Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international). She then received a tour of the Richardson Centre for Functional Food and Nutraceuticals with Canada Research Chair Trust Beta, learning about research breakthroughs involving ancient grains. Check out photos of the visit here and here

Erica Ominga has assumed the role of Advising Assistant in Agricultural and Food Sciences and is located at the front desk in Room 160 Agriculture Building. Erica comes to us with a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba and experience working on campus, including as a student office assistant with Student Advocacy and Accessibility Services, a mental health strategist assistant at Student Affairs and Human Resources and, most recently, as a project assistant with Learning and Organizational Development. Erica will fill a number of important roles in supporting our Student Services team, including updating our sections of the Academic Calendar, Course Scheduling, managing the SEEQ process for the Faculty, and events scheduling. With respect to room bookings, please use the Room Request Form ( to request a room. Please help us welcome Erica by stopping by Room 160 Agriculture and introducing yourself.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented to the Senate of Canada’s Standing committee on Agriculture and Forestry on October 25 to give evidence on their study on how the value-added food sector can be more competitive in global markets.

Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, has been named as the only Canadian keynote speaker for the 9th Canadian Agri-Food Policy Conference in Ottawa February 14-15, 2019. He will present “Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies and Program Impacts: Building Credible Evidence in Agri-Environmental Policy”.

Peter Jones and Semone Myrie, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, presented at the 5th Conference on Clinical Research for Rare Diseases (CCRRD) in Rockville MD on November19 on the “Practical logistics of conducting research in rare diseases”.  The  CCRRD is a unique one-day conference that focuses on research methodology for rare diseases and is particularly designed for trainees and junior faculty engaged in research in rare diseases.

Nancy Ames, from AAFC, Winnipeg, and an adjunct professor in the department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences (FHNS), and Martin Scanlon, FHNS, visited Warburtons Technical Centre in Bolton, England, to present on their research programs.  The title of Nancy’s presentation was “Canadian Cereal Grains and Pulses: Source of Healthy Ingredients for Functional Foods”, while Martin’s presentation was entitled “Mitigating Free Asparagine, Acrylamide Precursor, and Evaluating its Effects on the Manufacture of Wheat Flour Dough Products”.

Martin also presented at the World Milling Technologies Conference and Exhibition in Antalya, Turkey on November 24. Martin’s presentation was entitled “Critical Importance of Milling to Obtain Functional Properties of Pulse Flour”, presented on behalf of co-authors Sandeep Thakur and Jitendra Paliwal (Biosystems Engineering), Bob Tyler (University of Saskatchewan), Aidin Milani (Buhler Inc) and Tanya Der (Pulse Canada).

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science was invited to give a talk at the CPS-Southwestern Ontario conference held in Simcoe, ON recently. Dilantha gave a presentation on his canola-blackleg research and brought greetings from the Canadian Phytopathological Society as its current president.

Dilantha also chaired the FHB 1 session “Breeding for and Genetics of Resistance to FHB” at the 9th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight and 4th Canadian Wheat Sympsoium held at the Fairmont, Winnipeg November 19-22. Dilantha was also on the scientific organizing committee for the conference.

Mashiur Rahman, Biosystems Engineering, was invited to present a paper entitled “Biomass Fibres and Socially Responsible Materials” in the  Human Ecology Lecture Series organized by Manitoba Association of Home Economics held on October 16-18 in the Canad Inns Destination Centre, Winnipeg.

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was in Ottawa speaking at the annual Fertilizer Products Forum in which fertilizer manufacturers, distributors and retailers get together with CFIA to go over latest developments in regulations and product classes. He was asked to speak for an hour on new enhanced efficiency fertilizer products and the environment benefit. The head of CFIA’s fertilizer group has asked for follow-up discussions with him because they want to label fertilizer products if they have environmental benefit.

Megan Bourns, Soil Science M.Sc. student with Don Flaten, had a 4th place finish in the Nutrient Management and Soil/Plant Analysis division student competition at the November 4-7 American Society of Agronomy meeting in Baltimore, MD. Megan’s presentation, co-authored with Don Flaten, John Heard and Greg Bartley, was titled “4R Potassium Management for Soybean Production … Is It ‘A-OK'”

Rob Currie, Entomology, was on a grant selection panel for the European Commission in Brussels from October 22 to 24.

The joint meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and America was held in Vancouver November 11-14, with over 3,700 entomologists in attendance.  Kateryn Rochon, Jason Gibbs, Alejandro Costamagna and Rob Currie gave invited papers.  A submited paper was given by Jordan Bannerman, and Kyle Bobiwash also attended the meeting along with Neil Holliday and Pat Mackay and several adjuncts. A post doc and seven graduate students also attended and presented papers.  While at the ESA meeting, Rob attended the Council of Entomology Department Heads meeting.

Rob also attended a joint meeting of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, Canadian Honey Council and Ontario Beekeepers in London, ON, November 15 to 17.



Claudia Narvaez, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, has been interviewed recently (November 21-24)by numerous media outlets regarding the romaine lettuce food safety issue –

Claudia was also interviewed by CTV (November 12) on the topic of best-before dates on food items coming into food banks –

Jared Carlberg, Associate Dean (Academic), was interviewed in the article “Super Keen” in Country Guide (November 23 –

Qiang Zhang, Biosystems Engineering, was interviewed in the article “Sow Foot Health Improves with Use of Rubberized Concrete Floor Coatings” on Farmscape (November 23) –

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was interviewed by the Financial Post for a story on 4R nutrient management. Fertilizer Canada had suggested to the Post that Tenuta would be a good researcher to speak about the opportunities to reduce emissions using 4Rs and about our research.

Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, was quoted in the article “Canadian researchers developing ‘Trojan horse’ weapon to battle bacterial superbugs” on CTV (November 16) –

Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, along with Drs. Sarvesh Logsetty, Ayush Kumar and Rakesh Patidar, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Kumar’s lab, was interviewed by City TV (September 30) in the story ” Alarming rates of germs found in hospital curtains ” –

Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, along with Dr. Frank Schweizer, Chemistry, and Rachel Nickel, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Johan van Lierop’s lab, Physics, was interviewed by City TV (November 14) in the story “‘People die because of this’: Finding a new weapon to battle bacterial superbugs” –

The Faculty was well-represented in the most recent Alumni News magazine (Fall 2018).  In the story “Millennial Farmers”, alumni Kristine and Graham Tapley and Faculty members (and alumni) Don Petkau, Digvir Jayas, Jitendra Paliwal, Martin Entz and Karin Wittenberg talk about the changes and challenges in modern agricultural production –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, shared a cool list of items found in her office in “Buggin Out” –

Research done by Song Liu, Biosystems Engineering, was part of the story in the article “Line of Fire” –

And finally, alumna Erin Goldberg [BSc(HNS)/09, PhD/15] was noted for winning the Social Mitacs Entrepreneur Award for developing a plant-based nutritional supplement beverage. –

The announcement of the Canada Research Chairs was featured in a variety of media, including

The work done by our students in creating a living memorial for a classmate was featured in the article “Remembering Kyla” –



Dick, D. Cattani, M.H. Entz. 2018. Kernza intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) grain production as influenced by legume intercropping and residue management. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 2018, 98(6): 1376-1379,



Call for Nominations! The Certificate of Merit is presented by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the School of Agriculture in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large. Each year two Certificates of Merit are presented, normally, one to a graduate of the Agriculture Diploma program, and one to a graduate of the Agriculture Degree program. Nominations are considered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Executive Committee and must be received no later than January 14, 2019. More information about the nomination process including a list of previous recipients can be found at

December is just around the corner which means the University closure for the holiday break is quickly approaching. Each year Financial Services asks that required transactions are completed before the University closure. This year the closure is between December 24, 2018 to January 2, 2019 inclusive. Please note the following deadlines: December 4 – All paper travel claims, Concur travel and expense claims must be submitted to Travel Services by 4:30 pm. Also December 4 – all invoices and foreign wires/drafts must be received in SPS by 4:30 pm.  December 18 – last cheque run of 2018 for payment to suppliers. December 21 – last Direct Deposit of 2018 for payments to staff. Questions, please contact the appropriate department, or Aurora Finance Customer Service at 204-480-1001.

Attention Graduate Students – The 2018 Manitoba Agronomists Conference  is in need of volunteers. This year’s conference is themed Adaptive Crop Management: Dealing with Agronomic Production & Market Risks and runs Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday December 13. 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

Bees and Trees!  Just a reminder that Beekeeping for the Hobbyist runs 9 Wednesdays from January 30 to March 27, 2019  – learn more or register via Manitoba Arborists’ Training Course has its next online (in-class is now full) course intake in January 2019 – visit

People in every part of our society encounter mental health challenges at various times in their lives, and those who grow food for a living are no different. While agriculture is a growing and dynamic industry that offers many exciting opportunities, isolation, physical exhaustion and not knowing where to turn for help can sometimes compound mental health issues. Farm Credit Canada has created the Do More Ag Foundation to help. To learn more about support available visit  #RootedInStrength


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