University of Manitoba - Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences - AG e-news
AG e-news

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

NEW NEWSLETTER NAME! We are happy to announce that the newsletter once known as staff.matters will now be called "AG e-news".  Not only does this simple name roll off the tongue, it creates a play on words to reflect the "Aggie" nickname that has long been associated with our Faculty. Hope you like it!

May 4, 2012


Science Rendezvous 2012, a nation-wide science open house, will be held at the University of Manitoba campus on Saturday, May 12. Bring your family down and check out the Faculty booth in the Engineering Atrium between 10 am and 3 pm - we will be crushing canola seed to extract the oil and grade the canola! There are also lots of other exhibits planned, from the Magic Chemistry Show to a spaghetti bridge-building contest!  Get your geek on and come visit.  See the complete list of activities at

The Stu Clark Distinguished Speaker Series presentation featuring Dr. Naomi Mandel, State Farm Professor of Marketing and Dean’s Council Distinguished Scholar at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, on “The Road Not Taken: The Effect of Forming Pre-Choice Product Expectations and Making a Choice on Subsequent Consumption Enjoyment” will be held Saturday, May 12 in Room 530 Drake, from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. She examines the joint effects of forming expectations, making a choice, and consuming that choice on consumption enjoyment.  A series of studies demonstrates that consumption enjoyment decreases when (and only when) consumers explicitly form expectations, make a choice, and then consume that choice, due to the convergence of option attractiveness after consumption.

The Transport Institute is proud to present its third Cadena de Frio conference on "The Mid- Continent Cold Chain" May 24-25 at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel to examine the refrigerated supply chains, with particular attention given to the Mid-continent Trade Corridor. For more info or to register visit

It's time once again for Campus Beautification Day on Thursday, May 24 (Rain day - May 25) beginning at 9 am and continuing throughout the day. Please volunteer some time out of your busy day to help make our campus beautiful, meet and have fun with co-workers and maybe win some prizes. A barbecue lunch courtesy of Aramark with refreshments from Pepsi will be served at noon in the Duckworth Quadrangle. Lunch tickets are available from your department contact person. There will be door prizes and this year the Grand Prize is two airline tickets donated by West Jet. Teams are encouraged to propose projects which will be judged and the best gardens will be awarded with first, second and third prizes.  Last year many innovative ideas were presented so please submit your ideas to  This year we will be doing general spring cleanup, raking, weeding, and planting flowers. There will be some extra gardening tools available, but it would be helpful if you could bring your work gloves, spades and rakes (if you have), and wear suitable footwear. Talk to your department office for more information

Canadian Prairie AACC is holding "Pasta: Science, Technology and Fun" on Thursday, May 24 at 4:00 pm. The sessions include "Sensory Evaluation of Pasta Quality" with Elaine Sopiwnyk, CIGI, - learn the fundamentals of sensory analysis for evaluating the quality of pasta, and have an opportunity to test your skills, "Producing Pasta - Four Strands at a Time" with Linda Schlichting, CGC - Demonstration of a pasta micro-extruder, and a Pasta Dinner with fresh bread, salad and refreshments. Event is at the Canadian International Grains Institute, 10th Floor - 303 Main Street, and event is free with $10 paid membership. Please RSVP to

The Third Annual Functional Foods and Natural Health Products Graduate Student Symposium will take place June 4-6  in St. John's College, University of Manitoba. The symposium has grown to an inter-provincial, multi-day event, in conjunction with the FAST (Food Advancement through Science and Training) program. The FAST program is a collaboration between the Université Laval and the University of Manitoba.  The goal of the symposium is to provide opportunities to graduate students working in the areas of Functional Foods and Natural Health Products to share their research and learn about what else is being done in their domain. Register by May 18th to take advantage of early bird rates!

The 3rd International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare is being held on June 5-7 in Saskatoon, SK.  It features a dynamic group of speakers and a program that will offer producers, processors, retailers, government officials, NGOs, animal scientists, veterinarians and students the opportunity to discuss, debate and learn about the current and emerging welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry. For more details visit

The University of Manitoba's speaker series Visionary Conversations, hosted by President Dr. David T. Barnard, will next present "The Food We Eat". Join our expert panel for a discussion about the safety and supply of the food we eat – from the local and the global perspective. The panel of four speakers includes our own Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and Rick Holley, Food Science. The event will be held Wednesday, June 13 at the Robert B. Schultz Theatre, St. John’s College. Reception in Galleria - 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - sponsored by the Alumni Association and then Panel Discussion – 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm.  This is the final Visionary Conversation until they return in the fall.

As part of International Livestock Congress in Calgary in August, the ILC Beef 2012 Student Program is being held August 12- 15. Students can apply for the Bursary on the ILC website. For complete details, visit


Last week we noted that Ed Tyrchniewicz, Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, will be inducted this summer to the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame, but we missed noting Faculty connections among the other inductees:  former Agricultural Engineering professor Herb Lapp (posthumously), and soil specialist and alum Hayden Tolton, BSA/49, MSc/57.

The 105th Diploma Graduation was held on April 27 with 47 graduates receiving their diplomas. Several awards were also presented at the event. First year students chose Gary Martens, Plant Science and second year students selected Ernie Steeves and Scott Corbett, School of Agriculture, as their Teachers of the Year. Certificate of Merit were presented to diploma grad EJ Fontaine and degree grad Owen Jones. Read more about the Certificate of Merit awards and the student award winners in the news section of our website at

Students from Food Science and Human Nutritional Studies competed in the provincial Mission ImPULSEible competition held on April 4 by Pulse Canada and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association. Three final teams from the University of Manitoba battled it out with their pulse-based food innovations and impressed the judges and audience while also managing to get in a few chuckles. Judges taste-tested the pulse creations and asked the teams insightful questions relating to their products’ processing feasibility, shelf life, projected cost, product differentiation and market potential. First Place went to W Bahanshal, A Cumbers, E Cruz Gochez and L Song, for their Veggie Samosa Patty.  Second Place went to E Huang and JM Lin with Dou Mantou, their version of the traditional Chinese steamed bun, with a twist. Third Place went to JH Geng, V Ho and MF Yee for their Breaded Chicken Wings, a gluten free product made with chickpea flour and mixed with nuts and spices for an original flavour and crunch.  The first, second and third place winners were awarded $1000, $650 and $350, respectively with the top winners moving on to their next mission of competing at the National competition on June 27 in Montreal during the Annual Canadian Special Crops Association Convention. Other participating provinces for the national title include top teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Ontario.  Read the whole story and see photos.

Michael Trevan, Dean, appeared as an expert witness before the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on Thursday in Ottawa, with Doug Hedley, executive director of the Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and Peter W Philips of the University of Saskatchewan. Discussion centered on the future needs to stimulate ag research and innovation in Canada.

Ed Tyrchniewicz, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was in China in mid-April at the invitation of Ningbo University where he presented a seminar on Research in Agricultural Supply Chains.

Trust Beta, Food Science, was hosted by the Premier’s office of the North West Province of South Africa April 16-20 where she explored academic exchange and research collaboration opportunities between the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Manitoba and the Faculty Agriculture, Science and Technology of the North West University (NWU). The starting point was the Canadian commonwealth exchange program where applicants from the NWU are expected to participate as from this year. The North West Province happens to be a sister province to Manitoba. While still in southern Africa, Trust Beta opened discussions with the vice-chancellor of the Zimbabwe Open University on potential areas of academic cooperation.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was an invited speaker to the 103rd Annual American Oil Chemists` Society Meeting and Expo on May 1 in Long Beach, CA.  He presented "Efficacy of plant sterol in tablets and capsules". He also presented "Formulation matters: plant sterol matrixing impacts cholesterol lowering effectiveness" at Abbott Laboratories in Columbus Ohio May 3.

The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals was the site for the April 25 MAHRN-sponsored seminar "Biofuels from Sugar Cane - The Australian Experience So Far"  by Professor Sagadevan Mundree, Deputy Director, Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities Queensland University of Technology. d to salinity stress tolerance and abiotic stress tolerance prior to his current work with biofuels. Professor Mundree is working with MAHRN as part of their global partnership with LifeSciences Queensland on strategies for mitigating the impact of changing climate on human dietary requirements.

RCFFN will participate in hosting several students from northern Manitoba as part of the Verna J. Kirkness Science Education Program May 14-18.  Students will spent time in RCFFN labs conducting a series of hands on exercises or activities that they can use to advance their science knowledge and to encourage the students to come to study at U of M.  Some of the activities will include:  Milling ethnobotanical material using different mills and analyze particle size, extracting  the tea, conduct Vitamin C analysis or antioxidant analysis of the extracts, making capsules of the material and finally evaluating teas for taste, aroma.

Rotimi Ojo, Soil Science Ph.D. student, received a 2012 University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship. Rotimi is modeling soil moisture from real-time weather data for his thesis.

Sally Parsonage, Soil Science M.Sc. student, received a 2012 Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship from the National Science and Engineering Council. Sally is evaluating the 4Rs of nutrient management to reduce nitrous oxide emissions for her thesis. You won’t see much of her this summer or fall because she will be sticking close to field sites around Carberry.

If you noticed some increased activity in the Agriculture Building this week, it is because the University of Manitoba was one of the hosts of the 8th International Student Science Fair (ISSF 2012). The fair brings together talented science high school students who are passionate in mathematics and science, teachers and school leaders to share and develop the learning and teaching of science research and education.  The ISSF is being hosted in Canada for the first time and is being hosted by Fort Richmond Collegiate, Pembina Trails School Division and the Province. The theme of the conference is "Living Sustainably: The Role of Science and Technology."  Thanks to Michael Trevan and Brian Amiro, Curtis Rempel and his team at RCFFN for hosting a group of high school students for the day, and Martin Scanlon, Pat Kenyon, VJ,  Rick Holley, Michael Stringer and Gary Fulcher in Food Science for hosting a group for the day. Thanks also to those who helped with AV, room bookings and everything in between!

The last of the Faculty's monthly seminar series has been posted online at  This most recent seminar was David Lobb, Soil Science, speaking on "Transforming the Agricultural Landscape, One Field at a Time".


Veilleux, J, Leferink, J, Holliday NJ. 2012. Rapid removal of symptomatic trees reduces Dutch elm disease infection rates. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 38: 99–104.

Holliday AE, Holliday NJ, Mattingly TM, Naccarato KM. 2012. Defensive secretions of the carabid beetle Chlaenius cordicollis: chemical components and their patterns of variation. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38:278–286.

Chiremba, C., Rooney, L.W., and Beta, T. Microwave assisted extraction of bound phenolic acids in bran and flour fractions from sorghum and maize cultivars varying in hardness. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (in press).


Brett Sheffield, the diploma student who is competing next week at the national Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship competition, was highlighted in the Winnipeg Free Press in the May 1 article "U of M student farmer aces biz award". Brett was also interviewed by Marilyn Maki on CBC Radio Noon this week.

Michael Trevan, Dean, was highlighted in the Winnipeg Free Press in the FYI section this past weekend in "Profiles of our United Kingdom community"

Rick Holley, Food Science, was interviewed by CTV about a new survey that shows Canadians might be willing to eat food with small doses of radiation to prevent foodborne illnesses. Rick noted that by irradiating just poultry alone, we could reduce foodborne illness by 25 per cent in Canada. Read the story online.

Agroecology students Curtis Brown, Kristine Blair, Katherine Keller, Becky Vickery and Lindsay Geisel were pictured in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 3) article "CSA pioneers say market gardening works for them".  They were featured for their survey of Interlake cottagers' food purchase habits, which found that most bring food from the city, but are open to buying local food from producers.

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was quoted in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 3) in the article "Green manures fit the forage seed bill".  Martin was speaking at a MAFRI workshop on laying the fertility foundation for organic forage seed production.

Ranjan Sri Ranjan, Biosystems Engineering, was also quoted in the May 3 Co-operator in the article "Water management — drainage is expensive, but so is flooding". He noted that BMO estimates that heavy rainfall and flooding costs Prairie farmers $3 billion but if we spent just a fraction of that amount on proper drainage and water management, we could make great improvements.

And today, Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was interviewed by CBC News (English) and Le Téléjournal (French) for the evening news and gave a radio interview in French for the Radio-Canada noon show (Midi Plus) and a live interview in English to Marilyn Maki for CBC Radio's Radio Noon.  She spoke about the seeming preponderance of ticks this spring and took the opportunity to explain how people could protect themselves from tick bites, and emphasized the importance of self-checking.


The Faculty's annual newsletter, the Aggregate, was recently distributed to all alumni as an insert in the University's On Manitoba magazine. The publication provides a quick summary of the Faculty's research, academic and outreach highlights in 2011-12. If you didn't get one in the mail, you can check out the Aggregate online.

Do you know a support staff member or team that deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Support Staff Award. The Faculty has two annual awards recognizing the outstanding contributions by Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences support staff. Complete details and nomination form are available online.  Deadline is Friday, May 11.

Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program is available to Canadian high school students from family farms who are enrolled in their final year of high school as of May 25, 2012 and eligible to graduate from high school in 2012. Thoses eligible for a scholarship must be planning to enroll at a Canadian post-secondary institution (degree or diploma) in a first-year agriculture program. The scholarships, valued at $1500, are based on demonstrated academic standards and leadership in the community. Deadline to apply is May 25. Call 1-800-667-4944 or visit

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased to make available four $500 bursaries annually for MBP members or their children attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. Deadline is June 1. More details and the application form can be found online at

The Manitoba Sheep Association (MSA) is pleased to announce a $500 Scholarship which is available to any student who is a current member of the MSA or is the student relation of a current MSA member. The applicant must be an active participant in the Manitoba Sheep Industry. Deadline is June 30. Criteria and contact information is online at

The Margaret Skaptason Memorial Scholarship is available for a student enrolled in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba.  Valued at $500, the award is offered through the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter of the IODE, which is a Canadian women’s charitable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children, youth and those in need, through educational, social services and citizenship programs. Application forms can be found at and must be received BY MAIL on or before September 4, 2012.

Ushers Needed for Spring Convocation - The 133rd  Annual Spring Convocation is quickly approaching: Tuesday May 29, Wednesday May 30 and Thursday May 31. The Registrar’s Office requests staff serve as ushers for this event.If you are able to assist please keep in mind that, as it is critical to the success of this event that we are adequately staffed with ushers for each ceremony, we rely on those who volunteer to keep their commitment. Please ask your area supervisor to authorize your participation before making this commitment. The time commitment is 4 ½ -5 hours per ceremony. To sign up now please contact Gloria Saindon at 480-1088, or by email, as soon as possible. Please indicate for which ceremonies you will be available to assist.

Agriculture in the Classroom Seeks Volunteers - AITC invites you to volunteer at their upcoming Amazing Agriculture Adventure in Brandon, June 5-6. The Brandon event is held at the Keystsone Centre and they are expecting over 650 Grade 4 and 5 students to register for this event. 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 fill out a form available at before May 18.

AG e-news > May 4, 2012