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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

June 28, 2012


The 4th seminar in the Stu Clark Distinguished Speaker Series will be held Friday, June 29 10:00 am-12:00 pm in 530 Drake Centre. Guest speakers Andrew Delios, Professor, National University of Singapore, Business School and Jane Lu, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore Business School, will present "Research to Publications: Understanding and Strengthening the Link". They will talk about the the process of communicating research through publications and journals, and how to best navigate the journey.

Food Advancement through Science and Training (FAST) is offering an online seminar on Tuesday, July 3 at 1:00 pm CDT. The seminar entitled "Health Impact of Variations in Nutrient Transporter Genes" will be presented by Dr. Peter Eck using the Adobe Connect software. (Attendees will only need a Flash-enabled web browser connected to high-speed internet to participate.) Dr. Eck is Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba, working out of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. This seminar is being presented as part of the FAST program, a joint initiative between Université Laval and the University of Manitoba. To register to attend, please complete the following form by June 29th:

The 2012 Manitoba Crop Diagnostic School will be held the weeks of July 10-13 and July 16-20 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm near Carman.  For more information on the event or to register, please call (204)745-5663 or visit When registering, indicate whether you are a student, U of M or MAFRI staff member for special pricing on the staff student day July 10.

Also, Manitoba Canola Growers Association is holding MCGA Canola Day at the 2012 Crop Diagnostic School on July 11. Following the regular schedule (8:30 am to 4:00 pm), MCGA will be hosting a breakout session on ScoutDoc, an agricultural app for the iPad. Peter Gredig of AgNition will lead a hands-on session on ScoutDoc, an easy to use field scouting app for farmers and agronomists. This app allows users to create or import a field map and save information collected when scouting field crops. MCGA will have iPads on site for you to use and they will be drawing for TWO free ScoutDoc apps for participants. MCGA has graciously agreed to sponsor a portion of the daily registration fee. The fee to register with MCGA for the day is only $50.00 and is limited to the first 50 people. To register for the MCGA Day at the 2012 Crop Diagnostic School please visit their website at

Join us for Ecological and Organic Farming Systems Field Day on Monday, July 23 at the University of Manitoba Ian N. Morrison Research Farm located in Carman, Manitoba (1.8 km west of the junction of #3 and #13).  The day starts with coffee and registration at 9 am and the tour will run from 9:45 am - 3:30 pm. Registration: $15 (includes lunch). Pre-registration is appreciated. Contact Bev at 204-474-8563 or by Wednesday, July 18 to register.

The Ian N. Morrison Research Farm Crop Tour and Open House will be held Wednesday, July 25. Come and enjoy a full day on the research farm and learn what is new in field crop and plant research. More details coming soon!

The 23rd North American Prairie Conference will be held at the University of Manitoba August 6-10. Keynote speakers include Wes Jackson, Sharon Batula, David Young, Dave Daniels and Candace Savage.  For more information, visit

The 2012 Soil & Manure Management Field Clinic will be held August 10, 9:00-4:00 at the Glenlea Research Station. A total of 6 CEUs (tentative) available. Topics include applying manure at P-based (low) rates, in-crop application, composting, flocculants in solid-liquid separation. Special guest speaker Bryan Woodbury, USDA, Nebraska on electrical conductivity - innovative uses and limitations. Contact Mitchell Timmerman for more information or to register - or 793-8288.

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

The 12th Annual University of Manitoba All-Staff Golf Tournament and Fundraiser for the Student Food Bank will be held at the new Southwood Golf and Country Club on Monday, August 20 from 1 pm to 8 pm. Entry fee is $440 per team of 4 ($110 per person). Participation is open to current University of Manitoba employees only and approved affiliates.  Highlights of the tournament include a $10,000 hole-in-one prize, Texas scramble, best ball format, prizes awarded for men’s and women’s longest drive and closest to the pin on a par 3 and a beef sirloin buffet including vegetarian options and prize draws (everyone gets a prize!). Southwood Golf and Country Club dress code is in effect.  Please visit their website for more information: To register contact Chris Bohonis (Security Services) at 474-8630 or

The Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF) of Université Laval initiated BÉNÉFIQ, the first international forum on Health Ingredients which will take place in Quebec city on September 25-27, 2012. BÉNÉFIQ is meant not only as a forum for discussion, exchange and knowledge transmission, but as a key catalyst for the global health food and ingredients sector. BÉNÉFIQ boasts a distinctive program featuring internationally renowned speakers, a commercial exhibition on avant-garde food and ingredients, and a Tech Transfer Place for technological innovations and personalized business meetings (English is the current spoken language).  Visit BÉNÉFIQ’s website for all the details.


The Department of Soil Science has announced their administrative changes for the next year. For the period of July 1 to December 31, 2012, Tee Boon Goh will be Acting Department Head, and Wole Akinremi will be Acting Associate Department Head. For the period January 1 to June 30, 2013, Paul Bullock will be Acting Department Head, and Don Flaten will be Acting Associate Department Head.

The Dean's Office welcomes Heather Wiebe, who will begin on July 5 as Confidential Secretary to the Associate Deans. Heather is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and comes with several years of administrative experience working for various organizations.  Currently she is working for MAFRI under the Crop Knowledge Centre.  Heather has also been responsible for the successful organization and coordination of the Manitoba Agronomists Conference over the past few years.  Laurene Davy will take on the role of Confidential Secretary to the Dean.

The Faculty welcomes Deanne Miller as the part-time NCLE Coordinator. Deanne has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba.  Her previous experience includes HACCP & Food Safety Coordinator  for Danny’s Whole Hog BBQ & Smokehouse and instructor for the Swine Programs at Assiniboine Community College and she is the owner of Earth Web Creations where she’s doing website designing and communications for various companies. She will be working part-time on updating the NCLE website and newsletter.

An update from the Faculty's Student Services office - Daniel Bowers, Senior Academic Advisor, has taken on the Diploma Program portfolio and Wendy Kramer will now be the Academic Advisor for the Degree Programs, as well as continuing her role as the Awards coordinator.  We also welcome Justin Bouchard who is filling in over the summer as Office Assistant for Student Services. (You may remember Justin as senior stick and B.Sc. (Agribusiness) graduate from 2010.)

Brian Amiro, Associate Dean (Academic), was awarded Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology on May 31 at the CSAFM and Agricultural and Forest Meteorology meetings in Boston. The award honours Brian’s accomplished and thriving career advancing micrometeorology and the biogeophysical sciences through research, networking, and teaching in a remarkably amicable, efficient and fun way.

Lindsey Andronak, Soil Science M.Sc. student, won best student poster presentation at the recent Canadian Soil Science Society Meeting in Quebec.

Mrs. Shifaya Maraikar of the Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka (SSSSL) received the AIC International Recognition Award for her outreach, leadership, and mentoring role while participating in the SRICANSOL project for the last 16 years.  The SRICANSOL project was a twinning project between CSSS and SSSSL headed by Bob Eilers and Tee Boon Goh of our Department of Soil Science.

Peter McVetty, Plant Science, was an external Ph.D. thesis examiner for a graduate student in the  Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Agricultural,  Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta and participated in the defense in Edmonton on Monday June 25. While at the University of Alberta, Peter visited Dr. H. Rahman (canola breeding) and Dr. R. Weselake (oilseed biochemistry/biotechnology). 

Doug Cattani, Plant Science, will be hosting the Perennial Grains Meeting on July 16-17.  Perennial grains researchers from the US and Canada will meet at the University of Manitoba to discuss progress and cooperative efforts.

Alvin Iverson, Plant Science, and Kim Brown Livingston, MAFRI, hosted 21 young people and nine adults from the Carman Junior Garden Club in a weed identification workshop at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm on June 19.

Selena Randall, Research Development Coordinator for the Watershed Systems Research Program headed by David Lobb, went to the 2012 Living Lakes Canada Gathering on May 23 in Winnipeg organized by Living Lakes Canada and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation. This was a gathering of scientists and members of the public with interests and concerns about lake and watershed health. Speakers from around the world presented on water problems and community projects to resolve some of them. Also of topic was what climate change might mean for water in Canada, and the problems with the way water is treated and made available for use. Selena moderated and spoke at a session focused on the challenges in Lake Winnipeg. In the evening the Lake Winnipeg Foundation hosted a community session Red Zone III with presentations focused on Lake Winnipeg. The speakers (including Selena) spoke and she responded to questions from the audience. Selena blogged about the day at

The Department of Soil Science hosted two First Nations high school students from Frontier Mosakahiken School as part of the Verna J. Kirkness Science Education Program that ran at the University of Manitoba May 14-18. The youth worked in pairs with research associates, technicians and graduate and undergraduate students from Soil Science, experiencing their own trailblazing water research first-hand. The students stayed in on-campus residence to further immerse themselves in the U of M’s exciting culture and campus lifestyle. Isca Spillet, a NSERC-USRA student working for Annemieke Farenhorst made a video of the event that includes a H2O rap song. The video can be viewed at

Jared Carlberg, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented a paper at the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society annual meetings June 17-19 entitled “What Drives Quality Grade Price Spreads in the Canadian Beef Industry?” The paper was co-authored with Rob Hogan of Texas A&M University and Clem Ward of Oklahoma State University.

Jared also traveled to the 19th annual “Farming for...Profit?” conference in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, June 24-25.

Stephanie Fryza, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, attended the "Farming for ... Profit? 19th Annual Moose Jaw Conference - Innovative Risk Management Solutions" June 24-25. She presented the paper "Economic Factors Affecting Marketing Performance for Canadian Wheat", co-authored with Fabio Mattos.

Biosystems Engineering's Danny Mann, Qiang Zhang, Jason Morrison, Derek Inglis, Don Petkau, Kris Dick, Ron Britton and R Sri Ranjan attended the 2012 annual conference of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) which was held in Winnipeg June 17-20. A number of papers were presented by those in attendance.

Kris Dick, Biosystems Engineering, received an NSERC Engage grant to work with an industry partner on Lateral Resistance of Screw Piles. This work is in collaboration with Earthworm Screw Piles of Winnipeg.

Biosystems Engineering's Jitendra Paliwal, Qiang Zhang, Stefan Cenkowski, and R. Sri Ranjan traveled to India to participate in  a bi-national conference, "Engaging Canada – Engaging India: The French Canadian Context", June 11-12 that was held at the Pondicherry University in India. They were invited to present panel discussion on how the University of Manitoba is using a comprehensive approach to deal with the challenge of feeding the ever-increasing population of the world. They also visited  the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT), Thanjavur, a pioneering institution that has a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) signed with the U of M. Jitendra and Stefan spent another additional day at the  Alpha Group of Institutions, Chennai, where they delivered invited keynote talks on their Faculty Development Symposium and to discuss collaborative research projects in the area of bioprocessing.

Rob Currie, Entomology, spoke at the Manitoba Beekeepers Association Field Day on June 7 in Anola, MB.

Terry Galloway, Entomology, is attending a tour of tour of Interlake properties with “alvar” habitat on the 26th of June in association with the Scientific Advisory Committee, Nature Conservancy Canada.

Barb Sharanowski, Entomology, held an insect-collecting excursion for students at the U of M facility in Star Lake, MB, which was also part of a promotional video for women in science that was organized by Annemieke Farenhorst.

Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre Update - It is now nine months since the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre held its Grand Opening.  The Centre has had over 4,500 visitors and has been very popular for school trips, industry tours, and conferences and meetings. We are now embarking on a marketing campaign to increase awareness and visitation by the general public, especially families. This will include a 30-second commercial on CTV which will start airing this week on CTV News (at various times), Morning Live, Masterchef, Ellen and more through August. Please watch for the commercial and encourage people to visit the Farm & Food Discovery Centre! For details contact Guy Robbins, Visitor Services Manager, 883-2524, or visit our website

Also, a big thank you to all those who volunteered for the Farm & Food Discovery Centre booth at another very successful Red River Exhibition. The enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers was greatly appreciated and helped many thousands of visitors hear about the FFDC. If you have any feedback or ideas for next year please contact Guy Robbins on 883-2524 or

It's that time of year when academic staff return from or begin leaves.  Rob Currie, Entomology will be going on a one-year leave effective July 1, and Terry Galloway will be acting head of the Department during his absence. Both David Levin and Jitendra Paliwal, Biosystems Engineering, will be heading out on six-month leaves from July 1 to December 31.

The Chair for Women in Science and Engineering - Prairies published out its June 2012 newsletter - read it online at


Benke, Monica B., Tee Boon Goh, Rigas Karamanos, Newton Z. Lupwayi and Xiying Hao.  2012.  Retention and nitrification of injected anhydrous NH3 as affected by soil pH.  Can. J .Soil Sci. 92:589-598.


Rob Currie, Entomology, and his team were highlighted in the Winnipeg Free Press, CBC Radio and TV after they published a paper in Insect Molecular Biology on RNAi silencing of Deformed wing virus in honey bees.

Rob was interviewed for a children’s book being written by New Zealand author Sandra Markle called “TThe Case of the Vanishing Honeybees”.

Terry Galloway, Entomology, is continuing to respond to media inquiries on mosquitoes and also bed bugs (CBC Radio, CBC French TV, CJOB, UniversityNews). Terry will also have a series of CTV TV Morning Show spots (5 am - 9 am) in the first week of July to talk about mosquitoes.

The work being done by University of Manitoba Soil Science staff and students in collaboration with NASA and AAFC was highlighted on page 1 of the Manitoba Co-operator (June 14) in the article "Manitoba soils help NASA’s new gadgets take flight".

Michael Trevan, Dean, authored a column entitled "Canada’s role in meeting humanity’s biggest challenge" in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 14).  Michael states that to rise to the challenge of raising agricultural productivity, Canada "must continue to invest, but at increased levels, in research and innovation on its own and in partnership with industry."  See page 5.

Gary Martens, Plant Science, is quoted in the article "Herbicide-tolerant weeds can hurt farm incomes, says BASF poll" in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 14). He states that producers need develop  strategies, like rotating crops and herbicide groups, to delay the onset of herbicide-resistant weeds. See page 17.

The University of Manitoba Association of Tiny Tractors (UMATT) and their experience at the International Quarter Scale Tractor Contest in early June was highlighted in the article "When tiny tractors are the big dogs" in the Western Producer (June 21). See page 75.

Barb Sharanowski, Entomology, and her research into parasitic wasps was highlighted on the Bringing Research to LIFE page in the U of M's Bulletin (June 7). Barb talks about the use of the wasps as a natural pest control, but says more research in needed into these beneficial insects.  Read the story at

AG e-news > June 28, 2012