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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

April 17, 2013


Itching to get into the garden?  Want to try to reduce household waste going into the landfill?  Interested in recycling your grass clippings?  Join the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre’s Composting Workshop on Saturday, April 20, 10:30 am to 12 pm.  The Green Action Centre will be leading the event and talk about the practical steps necessary in creating a backyard composting system.  Cost is $10+GST and includes entrance to Discovery Centre exhibits.  Email or call Siobhan at (204) 883-2524.

The next Faculty Council will be Monday, April 22 at 10:30 am in the Richardson Auditorium, 172 Agriculture Building.

The Mathematics of Light and Sound is a public seminar offered Monday, April 22 at 7:00 pm in Room 270, EITC E3. Nilima Nigan (Simon Fraser University) will be presenting as part of the "Cross-Canada Series of Lectures on the Mathematics of Planet Earth”. In this talk, we look at how our quest to understand light and sound has led to, and been influenced by, mathematics. We'll also look at how mathematics unfetters our imagination, and allows us to think of invisibility cloaks and never-ending musical canons.

A Final Ph.D. Oral Examination for R. Carlo Carere, Biosystems Engineering will be held on Thursday, April 25 at 10:00 am in E2-365 EITC on the topic "Genomics of Cellulolytic Clostridia and Development of Rational Metabolic Engineering Strategies". Staff, students and the general public are invited to attend.

Come celebrate and eat locally made food!  The Farm & Food Discovery Centre is hosting a Made in Manitoba Breakfast on Saturday, May 4, from 9am to 12pm.  Hosted with the help of Agriculture in the Classroom, this event will be sure to put a smile on your face.  There will be activities for the kids and the opportunity to discover and explore the world of food production with the Discovery Centre exhibits.  Cost is $25 family, $8 adults, $6 youth, $2 children 2-6, and includes breakfast, exhibits and activities.  We are still looking for volunteers to help cook and serve breakfast.  Please contact Siobhan at if you are interested in helping.

Manitoba Materials conference (MMC) 2013 is an annual event highlighting research in fields related to Materials Science and Technology, scheduled for Tuesday, May 7 at the University of Manitoba.  It is an important opportunity for students and faculty from departments across the University and in the region to learn about current research and to meet colleagues with common interests. Please join us at this free conference which will showcase materials research from the University of Manitoba and the region, including invited presentations from Professors Safa Kasap (University of Saskatchewan) and Erik Hobbie (North Dakota State University). More information is available on the MMC 2013 website

The Manitoba Community for Women in Engineering, Science, Technology, and Trades (MCWESTT) Conference Committee would like to invite the University of Manitoba faculty members and their students to attend the first Biennial MCWESTT Conference on May 10, at the Fairmont Hotel.  For more information please go to the website at  Registration is now open, and Early Bird registration ends April 9, 2013! The conference is open to all genders. Up to 50 student sponsorships are available so that some students can register for free – 23 students have already taken advantage of this opportunity – please tell your student to sign up for a free registration by emailing


The Faculty welcomes Siobhan Maas as the new Program Coordinator at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre. Siobhan had been working at the Discovery Centre in a temporary capacity for the last eight months, planning lots of great activities for students and other visitors to the Centre. Stay tuned for more great events!

Alicia Franco Espinosa, Internationally Educated Agrologists Program, participated in the  Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration on April 17, organized by the Conference Board of Canada. She was a panelist in the "Innovations in Integration of Skilled Professionals" session, which explored Manitoba’s innovative programs and strategies aimed at integrating newcomers into their professions and the local economy.

Arnie Hydamaka, Food Science,was a speaker at the spring production meeting of the Keystone Potato Producers Association in Portage la Prairie on April 9. Arnie presented results on the Potato Portfolio, a project analyzing nutrition and functional food attributes of a variety of Manitoba potatoes. Also involved in the project were, Gary Fulcher, Trust Beta, Martin Scanlon, and Xiaoyun Xu (visiting professor from Huazhong Agricultural University). The project was funded by MPHEC and MAHRN.

The Faculty hosted the International Fund for Agricultural Development as they held a symposium and Friends of IFAD luncheon today. The symposium, themed “Smallholder Farmers and Shared Global Prosperity”, explored how smallholder farmers are marshalling solutions to raise their income, create jobs for young people, and make lasting contributions to global prosperity. Michael Trevan, dean, served as host.

Check out the NCLE March-April Newsletter featuring "Working with separated manure solids – Evaluating composting as a beneficial management practice". The NCLE Newsletter is a feature from the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. Read the newsletter at  While you are at their website, you might notice it has been re-designed with lots of great features including a comprehensive data/publication section and research program listings. They also have a short URL - - that takes you to the site.


Fernando, W.G. Dilantha and Li Ru 2012. Opening the Black Box: Understanding the influence of cropping systems and plant communities on bacterial and fungal population dynamics (Invited Lead Article). Ceylon Journal of Science 41: 89-110.

Kasischke, E.S., B.D. Amiro, N.N. Barger, N.H.F. French, S.J. Goetz, G, Grosse, M.E. Harmon, J.A. Hicke, S. Liu, and J.G. Masek.  2013. Impacts of disturbance on the terrestrial carbon budget of North America.  J. Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 118: 1-14.


Yvonne Lawley was featured with a "Researcher Profile" in the Spring 2013 issues of Pulse Beat Magazine, published by the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association.  A PDF copy of the magazine is available on line at

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was featured in the article "Blackleg in canola evolving" in Grainews (April 15). Dilantha describes how new races of blackleg are causing disease on varieties consdered resistant. Read it on page 1 of


As noted above, there are many exciting events taking place this spring at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre!  Composting Workshop – Sat, April 20; Made in Manitoba Breakfast – Sat, May 4; Gardening Made Easy with Louise May from Aurora Farm – Sat, May 18; Canning & Food Preservation Clinic – Sat, June 1. Check out for more details.  Call (204) 883-2524 or email to register.

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 Wednesday, May 1.

Agriculture in the Classroom invites you to volunteer at their upcoming Amazing Agriculture Adventure in Brandon, June 4-5. The Brandon event is held at the Keystsone Centre and they are expecting over 600 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 15.

The 2nd Annual Ag Shed Building Challenge - HAMMER FOR HOPE - is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, 2013 / 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for those in need of a hand up. However, the modest, energy efficient homes they build do not have garages. As a substitute for much needed storage space for yard supplies and outdoor equipment, they need your help to build sheds. Habitat Manitoba invites you and your staff to pick up hammers and construct sheds for Habitat families in a fun contest. Enter a team and help Habitat for Humanity continue the fight to eliminate poverty housing. Show your fellow Ag industry colleagues that your team can build it best by competing in Habitat for Humanity Manitoba’s 2nd annual Hammer for Hope! Team size: 8-10 volunteers (two members of each team with carpentry & power tool experience will be designated Team Leaders). Team entry fee: $2,500 (pledge forms available if fundraising). Registration required by July 12, 2013 with a deposit of $500.  Full entry fee required by August 16, 2013. Limited to the first 20 teams.  If someone is willing to become a Faculty team leader, please contact Crystal at 204-474-9435 or

The Canadian Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship Association is accepting applications for their 2014 program. Applications are due by April 30, 2013 and forms can be downloaded from the Nuffield Canada website at Nuffield Scholarships are awarded to enthusiastic individuals, with a passion for agriculture and a desire to expand your knowledge, pursue new ideas and to share your findings with others. Applicants should be in mid-career, be between the ages of 25 and 45 (although exceptions are made) and must be actively engaged in farming, agi-forestry or some other agricultural related industry.

Call for Papers - The Partnership Conference: 4th University of Manitoba/Szeged University on "Place, Time, and their Significance" will take place October 10 - 11, 2013 at the University of Manitoba. The 4th Conference in the Szeged University-University of Manitoba series, which brings together scholars from Hungary and Canada every second year, will be hosted in Winnipeg. Papers are invited from both the humanities and sciences. Papers delivered at previous meetings have focused on topics as varied as technology and change, history, politics, economics, agriculture, social work, education, gender studies, art, music, literature, Canadian and European identity formation. This year, 2013, the organizers invite papers from the aforementioned disciplines and welcome contributions from fields such as physics, mathematics, food-sciences, bio-systems engineering, conflict and disaster management – all of which are well-represented in Szeged University. Abstract Submission Deadline: May 31, 2013. Find out more online.

AG e-news > April 17, 2013