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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

May 17, 2012


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

New students and their families will be coming to campus on Saturday, June 2, for the Head Start Day organized by the Office of Student Life. Students and their supporters (families and friends) will have an opportunity to attend tour campus and residences, learn more about academic programs, registration process and the resources available to them. This fall will mark the first year that the Faculty is accepting Direct Entry degree students and we are excited to welcome them to the University!  Learn more at Head Start.

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

Thursday, June 7 is the 23rd Annual Sneakers in Motion Day on the Fort Garry Campus.  This is a fun and exciting noon-hour event that includes a walk around campus, prize giveaways, entertainment, and a healthy lunch.  The goal of Sneakers in Motion Day is to inspire staff and students of the University to be more physically active.  New this year - bring your gently used sneakers to be donated to adults and children to encourage the pursuit of active lifestyles and wellness through physical activity. Watch for more details closer to the event.

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.

Mid-Canada AOAC (Association of Analytical Communities) will be holding general elections for its 2012-13 executive committee at their Annual General Meeting, held during Mid-Canada AOAC Day on June 14 at the Victoria Inn and Conference Centre, 1808 Wellington, Winnipeg.  They are seeking nominations for President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Member At Large (multiple positions). Nominations must be made by email to Andrew Minkevich at, President Elect and Nominating Committee Chair PRIOR TO June 7.

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


Remember diploma student Brett Sheffield who was named the ACE 2012 Provincial and Regional Student Entrepreneur (Central Canada), and went on to compete at the national event in Calgary last week?  Well, he won!  The 2012 Student Entrepreneur National Competition took place on May 9 in Calgary and involved six regional finalists from across Canada, who each presented their business endeavours and achievements to a judging panel comprised of 50 industry leaders and CEOs.  Brett, full-time student and owner of both Sheffield Farms and Stay Fit Health Club in Pilot Mound, took home the title and the $10,000 prize. Brett not only moves on to compete at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in New York City at the NYSE in November, he was also invited to attend the 2012 SIFE World Cup, the team competition held in Washington, DC, in October.  Read the official ACE release.

Neil Holliday, Entomology, was named Professor Emeritus by the University of Manitoba at a special ceremony on May 8. The conferral of the emeritus title is in recognition of distinguished service to the University through teaching, research, and scholarship. Neil is well known for his wide-ranging contributions to entomological research - particularly in the areas of insect ecology, biological control and pest management; the education of entomologists, pest management practitioners and the public; and his service to academia.

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 Agronomy student Sally Parsonage, now a Soil Science M.Sc. student, who recognized Mario Tenuta, Soil Science as her University of Manitoba honoree and Grade 5 teacher Susan Kentner from Baldur School.

The 2012 CSBE/SCGAB Award Winners were announced and include a number of students from Biosystems Engineering. Nathan Bartel, Jayaru Geeganage, Stacey Hildebrand, Vanessa Krahn and Amy La received the Undergraduate Design Project Award for a project entitled “Rainwater Harvesting System”.  Amy La received the Undergraduate Thesis Award for a thesis entitled “Development of a setback distance model for hog facilities using odour acceptability and AUSPLUME dispersion modeling” (Advisor:  Q. Zhang).  Mahesh Sivakumar received the Graduate Thesis Award (Ph.D.) for a thesis entitled “Long wavelength near-infrared hyperspectral imaging for classification and quality assessment of bulk samples of wheat from different growing locations and crop years” (Advisor: D.S. Jayas & Co-Advisor:  J. Paliwal).  Ingrid Baragar was named the recipient of the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship, which recognizes academic excellence among student members of the Society.  The Scholarship is awarded each year to the student member of the Society with the highest GPA in the preceding semester (based on a minimum of 12 credit hours and the GPA must qualify the recipient to appear on the Dean’s Honour List).

Manasah Mkhabela, Soil Science, mentored two Junior High Students from Acadia Jr High. The students won a gold medal at the Manitoba School Science Symposium for their project entitled "How to Nullify the Effects of Acid Rain on Wheat Growth”.

Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, co-organized the research planning symposium entitled "Cherishing water, claiming health: water as a holistic health right". Forty-five participants from across Manitoba took part in the meeting which was held in Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The event was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, with assistance from the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie region and the Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures. Organizational support was provided by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Human Rights Research.

Jenna Rapai, Soil Science Ph.D. student, Isca Spillett and Pepper-Mackena Pritty, Soil Science summer research student, Annette Schultz, Nursing and Annemieke Farenhorst made a 1,600 km round-trip to visit with their research collaborators at Sapotaweyak Cree Nation as part of the project "Our right to clean water: First Nations youth test water quality". Isca Spillett and Pepper-Mackena Pritty will re-visit the First Nation community later on this summer to train high school students on water testing.

Jenna Rapai and Annemieke Farenhorst took part in the 2012 Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CWESTT) Conference in Halifax, May 3-5, 2012. About 98% of the conference participants were women, and there is an obvious need for more men to attend the 2014 CWESTT conference which will be held in Regina. Jenna presented a poster entitled "100 Years to Wait" referring to a recent article published in Science which suggests that everyone needs to work harder to recruit and retain women in STEM fields.

Neil Holliday, Entomology, is attending the American Society of Mass Spectrometry meeting in  Vancouver BC May 20-24.

Curtis Rempel, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, attended the The Renewable Materials Summit: Markets for Building the Biorefinery on May 15 in Fargo, ND.  The event was presented by LifeScence Alley & BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.  Joining other researchers,  Dr. Rempel spoke on the topic “Biorefinery Growth through Innovative Technologies & Partnerships”. Biobased industry isn’t new - it’s just being expanded with emerging products. This offers opportunities for partnerships with manufacturers of biofuels, food, feed, and forest products. The panel discussion provided perspectives on manufacturing partnerships capable of producing an array of value added products in biorefineries. The speakers discussed their experiences and expertise in the biofuels, forest products, chemicals, and bioproducts research to explain the factors that could make these partnerships profitable.


Brett Sheffield, winner of the 2012 Student Entrepreneur National Competition, was featured in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Manitoba Co-operator, CJOB and other media.

The Internationally Educated Agrologist Program was highlighted in the Western Producer (April 19) article entitled "Foreign agrologists learn Canadian ways". Brian Amiro, Alicia Espinosa-Franco and Allan Tyrchniewicz were quoted in the article that also featured profiles of this year's IEAP students. Check out page 34 of the Producer.

Derek Brewin and Brian Oleson, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, were interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press (May 11) in "Fewer, bigger farms in province" a story about how the use of technology has increased the size of the average family farm in Canada.

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, continues to talk to the media about ticks - Manitoba Co-operator (May 8) and CFAM Radio Altona (May 10).

Terry Galloway, Entomology, was interviewed for a documentary produced by Angela Heck from Fringe Filmworks, Inc. on mosquitoes in Manitoba titled “Buzz”.


The Faculty's Endowment Fund distributed over $96,000 to 34 projects. To see the complete list of projects, visit the 2012 Endowment Fund competition results.

Volunteers are needed to help staff a booth for the Farm & Food Discovery Centre at the Red River Exhibition. The Ex runs from June 15 to 24, and is open from 12 noon to 9 pm (3 pm to 9 pm on Monday to Wednesday). Volunteers will get entrance passes and parking, so this a great chance to get in free!! To volunteer, contact Guy Robbins at 883-2524.

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.

Volunteers needed for Culture Days. Join thousands of Canadians this fall in the largest arts participation campaign ever undertaken! Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. This is an open call for all volunteers to join the movement and help us offer hundreds of free interactive arts and culture activities during Culture Days in Manitoba! More info at

AG e-news > May 17, 2012