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AG e-news September 10

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

September 10, 2019 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Wednesday, September 11 – Tune in to CTV Morning Live (starting at 6:37 am) to catch the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre in action. One highlight will be the digging-up of the t-shirt they buried earlier this summer!

Wednesday, September 11 – There will be a Ph.D. Oral Defence by Xinyang Sun, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, at 9:00 am in 339A University Centre on “The Effects of Wheat Flour, Water, Salt and Mixing on the Rheological Properties and the Gas Phase of Bread Dough”. Faculty, students, staff and general public are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, September 11 – There will be a Ph.D. Oral Defence by Xiaohan Zhu, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Plant Science, at 1:30 pm in 339A University Centre on “Identification and characterization of pathogenicity-related factors in Verticillium dahliae”. Faculty, students, staff and general public are welcome to attend.

Thursday, September 12 – The first seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2019-2020 Seminar Series is a joint one with the Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series and will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Steve Marcroft, Marcroft Grains Pathology, will present “The Australian story  of blackleg in canola: From crop destruction to 4 million tonnes”.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Sunday, September 15 – Get your family and friends together and head out for an Open Farm Day experience at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Come see where your food comes from! Our research farm offers a look through windows at pigs and piglets in a working hog barn. Jump on the farm tractor and trolley to tour the new dairy barn. Try your hand at making ice cream and check out all the exhibits in the Discovery Centre. Manitoba Pork will offer a free pork-on-a-bun lunch at midday until supply is gone. For more information, call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

September 15-29University of Manitoba Homecoming 2019 activities include Open Farm Day, the Desautels Faculty of Music Homecomign Concert, grand opening of the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building, Indigenous Homecoming events, Tailgate Carnival and Bisons football game versus the UBC Thunderbirds, and UMSU Centennial Celebrations. A complete listing of Homecoming 2019 events can be found at The Faculty is also hosting two reunions – the Agriculture Degree Class of 1959 and the Home Economics Class of 1969.

Tuesday, September 17 – The Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences presents a Special Seminar with Dr. Catherine Field, University of Alberta on “The potential for DHA and other bioactive n-3 fatty acids as part of breast cancer treatment”at 10:00 am in the RCFFN lecture theatre, 196 Innovation Drive.  Refreshments will be served at 9:45 am. 

Wednesday, September 18 – There will be a Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics seminar featuring Pascal L. Ghazalian, Department of Economics, University of Lethbridge on “Did the Arab Spring bring about social and socio-economic changes? An empirical analysis using survey data” in Room 134 Agriculture Building. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, September 23 – There will be a M.Sc. thesis defense by Priscillar Wenyika, M.Sc. candidate in the Department of Soil Science, at 1:30 pm in 346 Ellis Building on “Host Preference of Pratylenchus neglectus to Major Crops of the Prairie Provinces of Canada”.

Friday, September 27 – As part of the CCARM Food for Thought lecture series, Martin Scanlon, Dean will give a seminar in the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium (St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg) at 2:00 pm entitled “Emphasizing the links between agriculture, food and health”.

Friday, September 27 Blue Bomber game at Investors’ Group Field. Parking restrictions will be in effect most parking lots starting at 6:00 pm. Complete details about alternate parking locations and other event dates are listed at

Saturday, September 28 – It’s Eggstravaganza time! Come down to Fam and Food Discovery Centre and join Manitoba Egg Farmers for fun-filled eggtivities and a chance to win some eggcellent prizes! Hop aboard the trolley to see visit the laying hen barn on the site and chat it up with egg farmers. This free event runs 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. For more information, call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Tuesday, October 1 – The Canadian Institute of Food Science & Technology (CIFST) Supplier Expo will take place 1 pm – 4:30 pm at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, 1808 Wellington Avenue.  This international trade show is an opportunity for networking and displaying products and services to a growing market in the Canadian Prairies that includes R&D technologists, food scientists, purchasers and senior managers from leading food and beverage manufacturers. Learn more at

October 19 and November 2Manitoba Rural Women’s Day will be hosted by Manitoba Women’s Institute (MWI) Saturday October 19: Oak Bluff, Manitoba – Oak Bluff Recreation Club and Saturday November 2: Brandon, Manitoba – Sokol Hall.  Join them to learn and share on the topic of “Women Showing Courage, Determination, Boldness”.  Watch for more details on MWI Facebook and the MWI website –

Tuesday, October 22 – Save the date for the 11th Annual Kraft Lecture, which will feature Dr. Michele Veeman from the University of Alberta at 2:30 pm in the Richardson Internationa Auditorium, Room 172 Agriculture. Topic TBA.

October 27-29 – The Advancing Women in Agriculture – East conference takes place at Niagara Falls, ON, and is aimed at everyone from the university student studying agriculture, to the producer, from the entrepreneur to the representative of a grower association or corporate agribusiness. There are student sponsorships available – visit to learn more about how to apply (deadline September 10). For the program and general registration information visit

Thursday, October 31 – The second seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2019-2020 Seminar Series is a joint one with the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and will be held at 3:30 pm in the Richardson International Auditorium, 172 Agriculture Building. Dr. Sylvain Charlebois. Dalhousie University, will present – topic TBA.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm.

Friday, November 1 – Save the date! The 24rd Annual Fields on Wheels Conference is themed “Logistics and Valued-added Processing of Field Crops: The Veggie Burger Revolution ”. This one-day conference will take place at the Four Points South Hotel, Winnipeg. Featured keynote speaker is Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Dalhousie University. More details including complete speaker list, and online registration at Early bird registration ($295 plus GST) ends October 8, regular registration $345 plus GST.



The Department of Animal Science welcomes Marcos Cordeiro to the position of Assistant Professor in Sustainable Food Systems Modeling, effective August 1. Marcos completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba, and comes to us from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, where he was working as a Postdoctoral Research Program Research Scientist. Read more at

New faculty member Chyngyz Erkinbaev, Biosystems Engineering, who was introduced earlier in the summer, was also profiled on UM Today at

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science was recently honored with the highest award given to a scientist for “two decades of exemplary research contributions to the Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria and Bio-control Research for sustainable agriculture” by the international PGPR community at the Asian PGPR International Conference held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Dilantha’s research contributions in the field of Biocontrol and PGPR research with his collaborators, on two bacteria, Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain PA23, and Pseudomonas brassicacearum strain DF41 has led to significant discoveries in their mechanisms to either manage crop diseases or to enhance plant growth. The research has also helped train several masters and Ph.D. students in the departments of Plant Science, Microbiology and Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

Mario Tenuta’s SOIL 3610 class had a successful field trip to Churchill, MB. This was the first time the annual field course was held in Churchill. The field class will be hosted in Churchill every odd year, with the next trip in August 2021.

Francis Zvomuya, Soil Science, attended numerous meetings in China recently. He was one of 11 soil scientists from North  America and Europe who were invited to the Top-level Forum on Black Soil Conservation in Northeast China and the Fifth Lishu Black Soil Forum in Changchun, China, August 22-25, where he presented a paper titled “Managing degraded Canadian prairie soils for improved productivity” to an audience that included top Chinese government officials. On August 25, Francis participated in a roundtable discussion focussed on strategies for encouraging adoption of conservation agricultural practices by farmers in Northeast China. On August 26 he presented a seminar titled “Soiled Soil: Manure, biosolids, and other beneficial nuisances” in the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences at China Agriculture University, Beijing. On August 27 he attended presentations by Dr. Tusheng Wang’s research group in the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agriculture University, and discussed with the group potential areas of collaboration and on August 28, Francis presented a seminar in the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agriculture University, highlighting his research program.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, attended the 4th Net4FS Dissemination Event on EU Mobility Programme with Nottingham University (UK) as the lead institution and held July 18-20 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China). She presented a paper on “Pulses as sources of functionally bioactive molecules in health and disease prevention” co-authored with Dr. Franklin Apea-Bah, FHNS. The focus of the meeting was on “Stability of Agriculture: Feeding a hungry planet”.

Trust also welcomed Xiuling Zhu and Qingyuan Dai who joined her research group on August 30 for one year. Both are visiting scholars from the School of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Anhui Polytechnic University (Wuhu, Anhui Province, China). Dr. Zhu will conduct research investigations on food antioxidants and polyphenols from edible materials. Dr. Dai will carry out projects on nanoencapsulation of food bioactive ingredients and Maillard reaction.

Mohammed Moghadasian, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences,  and his collaborators including Carla Taylor, Denice Bay and Peter Zahradka were granted a U of M Collaborative Research Grant and the U of M ethics full approval to study cardiovascular benefits of wild rice in women and men. This multidisciplinary study is planned to start in October 2019.

Rachel Sydor and Carla Antonation, School of Agriculture, have been named board members of the newly created Manitoba Urban Forest Council. Rachel and Carla were both involved in the development of the MBUFC, a non-profit organization with a mission to protect, maintain, and enhance urban forests by promoting arboricultural best practices, safe work, professional development, information sharing, and networking in Manitoba. Learn more at

Jason Gibbs, Entomology, was an instructor at the 21st annual Bee Course at the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Statin in Portal, Arizona in August. It’s an internationally attended course with 24 students (and a wait list of over 100).  Jason was also at the Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory in Logan, Utah for a week in July working on a URGP funded collaboration.

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was an invited speaker at the joint meeting of Entomology Society of Canada and the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution in Fredericton, August 18-21 and also presented a paper. At the same meeting, Alejandro Costamagna and his student attended and presented their research.

Kateryn and her student attended the joint meeting of the World Association of Veterinary Parasitology, American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, and the Livestock Insect Workers’ Conference in Madison, Wisconsin July 7-11.



Nate Ort, Plant Science graduate student, was interviewed by Real Agriculture (September 9) in the story and video “Soybean School: Exploring growth differences between Manitoba and Ontario” –

Maureen Cooper, 4th year Human Nutritional Sciences student, was featured on UM Today (September 4) in the article “Brain Food Dinners: Finding mental wellness through food” –

Dr. Beetroot (aka Anandakumar Palanichamy), a former tenant of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutracuticals (RCFFN) and a grad from the Department of Biosystems Engineering, was highlighted in the Winnipeg Free Press (August 31). The RCFFN technical staff assisted Dr. Beetroot in developing one of its food products while they leased space in the building – (behind a paywall) or

Don Flaten, Soil Science, and Amy Mangin, Plant Science, were interviewed in the article “Split nitrogen pays off on protein, not yield” in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 26) –

Alum and former School of Agriculture instructor Devin Pouteau (DipAgric/16) was interviewed in the article “Sanford farmer finds happiness by switching fields” in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 23) –

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Calculating a good cover crop plan” in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 22) –

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Dry conditions impacting crop yields for some Manitoba farmers” in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 20) –

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Do vegetated buffers actually mitigate nutrient runoff in Canada?” in Top Crop Manager (Augusut 16) –

Claudia Narvaez, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was interviewed in the CTV News story (August 6) “‘Soap doesn’t kill anything’: How to hand wash your dishes and spread fewer germs” –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, gave three interviews (Winnipeg Free Press, CTV News, Radio-Canada Télé) on lone star ticks in July and was interviewed for a Radio-Canada Première (radio) nationally broadcast show titled “Moteur de recherche” (translates to “search engine”) to answer questions about why we don’t feel tick and bed bug bites in August. 

Joel Gardner, Ph.D. student in Entomology, was interviewed by Marcy Markusa on CBC Information Radio (July 31)  on the bumble bee surveys at FortWhyte Alive.

And an interesting article in USA Today notes that agricultural programs have some of the lowest unemployment. Check out “College majors with the lowest unemployment” at



Cardwell, R., and D.G. Brewin. 2019 “Blackleg or blackmail? Economics of the Canada–China canola trade dispute.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d’agroeconomie. 67(3): 251–260. Currently free access (for 90 days) at:

Ávila, S., Hornung, P.S., Teixeira, G.L., Malunga, L.N., Apea-Bah, F.B., Beux, M.R., Beta, T. and Ribani, R.H. (2019). Bioactive compounds and biological properties of Brazilian stingless bee honey have a strong relationship with the pollen floral origin. Food Research International 123: 1-10.



Looking to give back to the ag community? The Agriculture Mentorship Program, run through the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, is recruiting ag women professionals to mentor female diploma, degree and grad students. Share your life experiences with a young woman about to enter the industry while networking with other professionals at two evening events held between October 2019 and April 2020. Details and application link can be found at or contact siobhan [dot] maas [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.  Mentor applications close September 17. Students can apply until September 22.

Volunteers are needed for two events at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Open Farm Day on Sunday, September 15 is a one-day showcase of agricultural operations and farms across Manitoba, and the FFDC is a host site. Volunteer duties would include meeter/greeters, activity station staff, and parking assistants. Hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm with lunch and snacks provided, and training will be provided that morning.  Food From the Land Day is a new hands-on and interactive field trip hosted by the FFDC on Friday, September 20. This field trip links to senior years sciences and social science curriculum and encourages students to discover the role agriculture plays in the production and processing of the foods they eat every day. High school students rotate through stations covering a variety of agriculture topics lead by experts in the industry.  FFDC is looking for Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences staff and students to assist by leading one of the eight groups from station to station. The field trip runs from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. We ask that volunteers arrive for 9:30 am to settle in before the schools arrive.  For more information or to secure your volunteer spot, contact Kristen Matwychuk at ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or call 204-883-2524. (PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DISCOVERY CENTRE IS LOCATED 15 MINUTES SOUTH OF WINNIPEG AND IS NOT ON A BUS ROUTE. Volunteers are responsible for arranging their transportation to and from the Centre.)

What are you doing after work on Fridays this winter? Come curl with us in Aggie Row Curling, a friendly and long-running league with folks from the Faculty. We play Friday afternoons at 4:30 at the Pembina Curling Club – close by and easy to get to. The season starts in October 11 and runs til March. No experience is necessary and all are welcome. Sign up as a team or an individual curler. For more information contact Gaetane Tremblay at Tre [at] mymts [dot] net no later than September 20.


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