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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

June 12, 2013


Game Day Parking - The Bombers kick-off their pre-season at Investors Group Field on June 12 (tonight). The Event Day Transportation and Parking Plan will go into effect at 5:30 p.m., which is 90 minutes prior to kick-off. 2. The plan is in effect until 60 minutes after the game ends, approximately 11 p.m. For those with valid UM parking passes, you can park in (move your vehicle to) Lots A, B, L, AC, CTC, D or R from 5:30 until 60 min after the game ends (approx 11 pm). Suggested access to campus is via Kings Drive entrance between 5:30 pm and 7 pm. If you do not have a parking pass you must remove your car from campus by 5:30 pm or face a $50 fine.  See complete details at

Special Guest Seminar by Dr. Alex Berlin, Bioenergy & Protein Chemistry Management, Novozymes Inc., on Friday, June 14, 10:00 am to 11:00 am in E2-399 EITC on the topic "Plant Xyloglucan Endotransglycosylases: Diversity, Catalytic Properties, and Promising Applications in Materials Science". Enzyme biotechnology is today a mature and growing industry with an estimated global market of about $4 billion. This presentation will cover different aspects of the relatively novel class of transferases, namely, the xyloglucan xyloglucosyl transferases (EC, known as xyloglucan endotransglycosylases (XETs), a class of enzymes which uses a disproportionation reaction mechanism to modulate molecular masses of xyloglucans during plant growth. Dr. Belin will describe plant XETs diversity, key catalytic properties, and emerging applications of these enzymes in the development of novel materials.

The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals is hosting "Probiotics and Prebiotics: Understanding the Science and Opportunities", a two-day national conference/workshop on probiotics and prebiotics on June 17-18, with the objective of creating a forum to facilitate sharing of ideas and networking opportunities between the academic, industrial and government communities. Cost is $190 for both days. Visit for conference agenda and speakers, and to access online registration.

Thursday, June 20 is the 24th 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. Details online at or in your department.

The Farm and Food Discovery Centre has partnered with the Entomology department to host a Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs Workshop on Saturday, July 6 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. It’s the perfect hands-on activity for kids of all ages. Come see pinned insects, a honey bee hive, and hear a hissing cockroach hiss. This even will run rain or shine. For more information visit or call 1-204-883-2524.

On Wednesday July 17, come out to the Farm and Food Discovery Centre for Dairy Day- Family Fun. This event will be going on all day with fun for the whole family! Come see the awesome exhibits the centre has to offer, and make ice cream and butter. You can even learn how to milk a cow. For more information visit or call 1-204-883-2524.

The Canadian Society of Soil Science will hold its annual conference "Soil Science: The Centre of It All" in Winnipeg at the Hotel Fort Garry, July 22-25, 2013.  More information at: Early bird registration ends June 21 - register online at

Join us for Organic and Ecological Farming Systems Field Tour on the evening of Monday, July 22 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 event begins at 5:30 pm with an informal BBQ supper and the tour will follow from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Come to learn and discuss the principles and practices of ecological farming systems!

The Glenlea Long-Term Organic Study Research Tour is scheduled for Monday, July 29, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the University of Manitoba Glenlea Research Station, located 15 km south of Winnipeg on Highway 75. Come and visit Canada’s oldest organic research plots and learn about the science of organic farming, including the important roles of crop rotation and nutrient recycling.


The Department of Plant Science sadly reports that John Watson, retired staff member, passed away on May 27.  John, who worked for the department for 29 years, served as Field Superintendant. A celebration of John's life was held on June 1. Read his obituary online at

Three Food Science students are receiving scholarships from the AACCI Foundation (AACC International was formerly known as the American Association of Cereal Chemists). Filiz Koksel, Ph.D. student, will receive a $3,000 graduate fellowship for the 2013-2014 year contributed by the Anheuser Busch/Campbell Taggert Fellowship. Lilei Yu, M.Sc. student, will receive a $2,500 graduate fellowship contributed by the AACCI Charles Becker Endowment. Carly Isaak, undergraduate student, will receive a $1,000 undergraduate scholarship contributed by Kraft.

The Faculty recently congratulated 4-H Canada on its 100 anniversary in 2013 and made a donation of $1000 to the official 4-H museum in Roland. In the announcement, Michael Trevan noted the Faculty’s connections to the origin of the 4-H organization. Read the whole story at

Michael Trevan, Dean, was asked by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be a member of the expert panel for their Food Safety Regulation modernization forum in Ottawa on June 4. Michael is the CFIA-university workforce looking at the new training requirements as CFIA moves from a check box to outcomes based food inspection regime.

Congratulations to Charles Grant, a Senior Instructor in the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, who recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba.  He presented his thesis entitled “Influence Functions, Higher Moments and Hedging” on March 12. Prior to his doctoral program in the Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) he obtained a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management from the University of Manitoba.

Caroline Halde, Ph.D. candidate in Plant Science, was awarded the 1st prize for best student oral presentation at the Association Québécoise de Spécialistes en Sciences du Sol (AQSSS) meeting. The AQSSS was held May 28-30 in Saguenay, Québec.

The 4th annual Carman High School Agro Ecology Day was held on May 30 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm and involved 110 Grade 10 students from Carman, Elm Creek and Miami. Started in 2010, the event is a joint venture between the Prairie Rose School Division, University of Manitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and MAFRI. The students participated in hands-on learning with experts in the fields of entomology, weeds, riverbanks, soil, and agricultural meteorology. The University of Manitoba was represented by Rob Gulden, Doug Cattani, Alvin Iverson, Rotimi Ojo, Natalie Rance, Katherine Rhymer, Janessa Warkentin, Jim Dunn and Sue Clayton along with MAFRI staff and other participants.  Read an article about the day at

Check out the NCLE May-June Newsletter featuring the article "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural lands". The NCLE Newsletter is a feature from the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. Read the newsletter at Visit their website at to learn more of these and other research and outreach activities and to meet the NCLE research team. Not receiving the NCLE newsletter directly? Email Christine ( to sign up today!

Speaking of newsletters, check out the May edition of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering - Prairies Newsletter.  Highlights include the Kirkness Science Education Program, the Manitoba Community for Women in Engineering, Science, Technology and Trades (MCWESTT) 2013 Conference and much more. Read it online at


Carl Szczerski, Christian Naguit, John Markham, Tee Boon Goh and Sylvie Renault.  2013.  Short- and Long-Term Effects of Modified Humic Substances on Soil Evolution and Plant Growth in Gold Mine Tailings.  Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 224:1471 (online) DOI 10.1007/s11270-013-1471-y


Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, reviewed a book in the Winnipeg Free Press (June 8).  Read the article “There’s food for thought, but facts are ignored” at

Rick Holley, Food Science, was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press (June 8) article “Grub in the garbage: Dumpster divers eat discarded food and scoff at society's wasteful ways”. Rick was commenting on the safety of dumpster diving for discarded but potentially edible food – he noted that you might be able to tell if the food is spoiled by using your senses but not if it's contaminated. Read it at

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was quoted in the CanolaInfopress release "Consuming Canola Oil Can Improve Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk", which was picked up by several online news sites. Read the release at

Gary Martens, Plant Science, has written a second column for the Manitoba Co-operator (June 6) on his nano-farm experiment entitled "Universal rotation principles uniquely applied to each farm". He talks about the importance of crop rotation and ways to reduce input costs. Read page 17 at

Chelladurai Vellaichamy, Ph.D. student in Biosystems Engineering talks about his team's project on canola storage in grain bags in the article "Tarps versus grain bags" in Grainews (June 3). Read page 6 at


Volunteers Needed at Red River Ex - The Farm and Food Discovery Centre will again have an information booth at the Red River Exhibition June 14-23. Like last year, we are looking for volunteers (faculty, staff and students) to assist FFDC staff with answering questions from the public, handing out leaflets and helping with activities. Volunteers will get a pass to the Red River Exhibition and also a car park pass in return for a commitment to a 3-hour stint(s) representing agriculture with the public at the booth. Slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Please email Guy Robbins ( with the days (including alternate days) you would like to do and whether you can do afternoons and/or evenings (coverage is noon to 9pm June 14 to June 23 inclusive) plus telephone numbers for contact.

Agriculture Building Summer Hours - Effective May 28 to September 2, 2013, the Agriculture Building hours will be: open Monday-Friday 7:30 am - 6:30 pm; closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

The Steam Plant Shutdown will take place Sunday, June 16 at 6 pm. Start up Wednesday, June 26 at 12:00 noon. Steam at 30 lbs psi will again be available by Thursday, June 27 at 8 am.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2014 Research and Internship Assistance Program (RIAP). The program is open to individuals in Canada and other IICA Member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) from the public and private sectors working in agricultural sciences, farming, and agribusiness. The program is divided into two components: Research Projects and Agriculture Internships. Completed applications must be received by November 15, 2013. Read more at

AG e-news > June 12, 2013