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AG e-news

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

October 18, 2012


An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 18 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Dr. Nicola Koper, Natural Resources Institute, will be presenting “Effects of Cattle Grazing on Plant and Songbird Communities in Canada's Mixed-grass Prairies”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The 45th Annual Fall Convocation will be held Thursday, October 18 for degree, diploma and graduate students at 3:30 pm in the Investors Group Athletic Centre. Livestreaming available at

On Friday, October 19 at 9:30 am in 346 Ellis Building, Amanda Taylor will defend her Soil Science thesis “A comparison of the carbon dioxide fluxes of two annual cropping systems and a perennial hay field in southern Manitoba over 30 months.”

Bison Women's Basketball presents the Shoot for a Cure Tournament 2012 on October 19-21 at the Investors Group Athletic Centre. The U of M women play Friday at 6 pm, Saturday at 7 pm (which is Pack the Place Pink Night) and Sunday at 10 am.

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Tuesday, October 23 in Room 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Jordan Bannerman, Entomology, will be presenting “Aphid-parasitoid interactions in the face of climate change."  Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

A Department of Soil Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, October 23 in Room 346 Ellis Building at 12 noon.  Christine Rawluk, NCLE, will be presenting "The National Centre for Livestock and the Environment – It’s All in the Name!"  All are welcome to attend.

The Graduate and Professional Schools Expo will be held on Wednesday, October 24 in the Manitoba Room, University Centre from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.  Students who are considering graduate, professional or continuing education programs have the opportunity to meet with exhibitors from schools in Manitoba, across Canada and internationally to learn about their programs.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 25 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Dr. Rashidul Islam, Department of Plant Science, will be presenting “Regulatory Mechanisms of Pathogenicity-related Genes in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

A Department of Soil Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, October 30 in Room 346 Ellis Building at 12 noon.  Karin Rose, Soil Science, will be presenting "Redefining 'Sustainable' Agriculture: the Making of a Documentary".  All are welcome to attend.

The 3rd annual Harvest Gala Banquet will be held on Tuesday, October 30 at the Viscount Gort Hotel. The Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame (MAHF) and the Red River Exhibition Association (RREA) have joined forces to host the banquet to recognize and honour all current and past MAHF Inductees and RREA’s Farm Families of the Year. For more information contact Judy at (204) 888-6990 or

The 7th Annual Undergraduate Student Research Poster Competition sponsored by the University of Manitoba, Office of the Vice-President (Research) will take place November 1 from 1:00 - 4:30 pm in the Manitoba Room, University Centre.  Posters will be judged by representatives from the university community, industry, government, and community organizations. The awards will be presented at 4:00 p.m. The intent is to provide our students with a venue to showcase the research they have been doing and to experience communication tools used by researchers.  Cash prizes are awarded to the top two posters in each of five categories:  Applied Sciences, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences/Humanities and Creative Works. This year, an iPad will be presented to the top poster describing qualitative researcher.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, November 1 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Dr. Natalie Björklund, Department of Plant Science, will be presenting “Determining Significance in Microarrays, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The 17th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference themed "Agribusiness Logistics in Turbulent Times" will be held on Friday, November 9 at the Radisson Hotel Downtown, Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is too late to predict, yet too early to evaluate, how the landmark changes to CWB grain marketing and industry structure (i.e. Viterra) and operations might change. There are many other factors impacting Canadian agribusiness and logistics, many beyond Canadian borders. Fields on Wheels will discuss those this year. Registration fee is $325 Cdn. plus GST per person. For more information and to register, visit

The 9th seminar in the Stu Clark Distinguished Speaker Series will be held Friday, November 9 at 10:30 am in 530 Drake Centre. Guest speaker Dr. Russell Belk, Kraft Foods Canada Chair in Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University, will present "Extended Self in a Digital World". He will explore the conceptual implications of the digital world for the extended self, an ever-evolving key construct in consumer research.

The Manitoba Rancher’s Forum 2012: Going Beyond the Grazing School is scheduled for November 27 and 28 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. As the title suggests, the Manitoba Grazing School has been transformed into a new event, which will encompass a broader range of topics focusing on the needs of livestock, forage and grain producers. The Forum includes speaker sessions, a producer panel, a banquet and exhibitor booths. Full details and online registration at

The Manitoba Agronomists Conference will be held December 12 and 13 (this year on WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY) in Room 172 Agriculture Building and via webcast.  This year's plenary session is entitled "Are Crop Rotations Obsolete?".  The cost is $200.  Register by December 5 to take advantage of the early bird rate of $150.  Registration closes December 9.  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 is on the MAC website at


Brian Amiro, Soil Science and Associate Dean (Academic),  has been elected a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, which is the highest honour that CSAFM can bestow, for lifetime contributions to agricultural and forest meteorology.  According to CSAFM, Brian's "sustained contributions to the field of micrometeorology in Canada and Internationally are worthy of recognition... His willingness to share knowledge, experience, expertise, and findings through networks of established researchers as well as mentor students and young researchers with humility, passion and sense of humour, is exemplary."

Two Faculty members (current and retired) were recently presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.  Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, was presented with her medal at Government House on October 11 by Senator JoAnne Buth for her leadership in research on pesticide fate in soil and water, her contributions to community-based research in rural communities of Central America and for her role in mentoring women in science. Annemieke is currently the NSERC Chair For Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region). Senator Buth also attended the Entomological Society of Manitoba meeting on October 13 and presented the medal to Pat MacKay, Senior Scholar and former member of the Department of Entomology.  Pat currently serves on the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission to review the Bipole III hydroelectricity transmission project submission.  The Diamond Jubilee medals are given to individuals who have made valuable contributions to the country, province or community.

The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Manitoba was held October 12-13 in the Freshwater Institute and the Department of Entomolgy.  This year's theme was "Biological changes in Lake Winnipeg: Manitoba's Great Lake".  Bob Hecky, Biology Department and Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota-Duluth, was the keynote speaker, with syposium speakers, Lee Grapentine (Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, Burlington), Brenda Hann (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba), Alex Salki (former DFO Biologist) and Chelsey Lumb (Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Fisheries Branch, Winnipeg).  Three graduate students and four faculty members presented research papers and posters, and one undergraduate student, Zoe Rempel, presented a poster on the results of her USRA research project.  Zoe also received the Orkin Award for special achievement by an undergraduate student in Entomology, and Matt Yunik received the Entomological Society of Manitoba's Graduate Scholarship.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently announced the renewal of Peter Jones’ Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Functional Foods, an award of $1.4 million over seven years. Peter is the director of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. Read more at

Daniel Wuerch has accepted the position of Research Development Manager for the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. Dan brings a wealth of experience having spent time in both the senior private and public sector with Campbell Soup, Scotiabank, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and more recently as Senior Business Officer with Western Economic Diversification.  His experience has focused extensively within the nutraceutical, life science/bio-tech and food processing sector.  Dan has a Bachelor degree in Plant Science from the University of Manitoba and a Master degree in Agriculture, Ag-Business Management from the University of Guelph. Dan will join us on Tuesday November 13.

Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, presented his work on “New microbial biomarkers to detect Johne's disease in cattle in early stage” at the 5th Canadian MAP Researchers Meeting in Banff, October 11-12.

Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, visited the Faculty of Bio-Engineering Science of the University of Ghent, Belgium October 8-10 to be an external examiner of a Ph.D. thesis defence and to give a seminar on "Subacute ruminal acidodis, endotoxins and health consequences in dairy cows". Kees also visited the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research in Melle, Belgium, to discuss reduction of methane emissions by ruminant livestock.  

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, received funding from the Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy and Competitiveness Research Network to research the implementation of WTO-based disciplines on export restrictions, in collaboration with William Kerr at the University of Saskatchewan.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, attended the ENACTUS World Cup in Washington DC September 29 to October 3 with student leaders Nicholas Lea, Branden Burns and Brett Sheffield.  ENACTUS is an international student organization made up of non-profit groups on campus focused on entrepreneurial student activities to empower communities.  ENACTUS at the University of Manitoba is starting up this fall.  Look for information online at:

The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals participated in the Centralia event on October 9 by hosting a tour led by Peter Jones. There were about 15 participants, some of whom hailed from Argentina and France, as well as all over Canada.

Check out the September-October newsletter for the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. The research feature highlights a two-year study on factors affecting feed efficiency in cattle -

Don’t miss this great video of the U of M ¼ Scale Tractor Team’s competition in Peoria this summer at


Derek G. Brewin, Collin Gyles, Mathew Wiens and Don Flaten (2012). “A review of farm level responses to nutrient regulations in Manitoba, Canada”. Food Economics. DOI:10.1080/16507541.2012.695116


Rick Holley, Food Science, was on CBC Radio's The Current yesterday discussing meat irradiation - listen to the podcast here.   In the last few weeks, Rick has also been interviewed by a number of media on the XL Foods recall and on the new inspection Bill S-11. Some selected stories: Food Quality magazine; CBC (Canadian Press); Manitoba Co-operator (Reuters);  Calgary Herald/Edmonton Journal; Western Producer - see pages 90, 91.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed by Leif Larsen of the CBC, about US bans on imports of Canadian food.

Ryan was also interviewed by the Western Producer (October 4) about the federal government's decision in 2008 to divorce its international food aid contributions from domestic food sources - see page 91.

Guy Robbins, Farm & Food Discovery Centre, was interviewed by the Western Producer  (October 4) about the first year of the Centre's operation. See page 33.

Don Flaten, Soil Science, co-wrote the article "Dry soils offer risks and rewards for fall nitrogen applications" that appeared in the Manitoba Co-operator (October 11). See page 17.

Bill Guenter, Animal Science, was on CBC TV talking about the chicken backyard bylaw - (1:16 mark).


Faculty alumni Kerry Green (DipAg/83) and Geoff Gyles (BSA/79) were recently presented with the prestigious Innovation Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation.  Both are the founders of Wolf Trax, which in the 1990s developed DDP Micronutrients. This micronutrient system features a patented technology called dry dispersible powder (DDP). They formulated DDP to coat and stick to each and every granule of macronutrient fertilizer in a blend. This patented technology results in even, blanket-like coverage of micronutrient across a field, and its design also allows plants to enjoy both immediate and delayed uptake of micronutrients, extending overall plant feeding. The Manning Innovation Award has a cash value of $10,000.

Blue Boxes Needed in the Name of Science - MAFRI and NCLE staff are collaborating on trials estimating ammonia loss from fertilizers and manures.  One of the pieces of each assembly in the field is, if you can believe it in this age of ultra-sophisticated technology, a simple blue box.  Besides punching additional holes in each blue box, not a one will be harmed in the collection of these vital data that will support the goals of agronomic efficiency and environmental stewardship of the named collaborators in support of agriculture.  Please advise of any leads.  Trained staff will be made available to, if necessary and safely, capture volunteered specimens in their native urban habitats for later release into the wilds of agri-Manitoba.  Contact Mitch Timmerman at (204) 793-8288 or

Enter the Farm & Food Discovery Centre Photo Contest - Explore the Farm & Food Discovery Centre from a different perspective—through the lens of your camera! Have a favourite thing to see or do at FFDC? Take a picture of you doing it! All photographs must be taken on the site of the Farm & Food Discovery Centre. Two categories - Adults and Children 12 &Under. Winner of each photo contest category will receive a free one year family membership to the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, valued at $80.00. Deadline is December 14, 2012. See complete rules and details at



AG e-news is e-mailed bi-weekly to members and friends of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Email Crystal Jorgenson with your news or get in touch with your department AG e-news rep:

    Agribusiness: Barb Hewitt 9259
    Animal Science and Entomology: Mei Ding 6125
    Biosystems Engineering: Debby Watson 6033
    Food Science: Allison Cranmer 9621
    Plant Science: Bev Godard 8563
    Soil Science: Lynda Closson 8153

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AG e-news > October 18, 2012