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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

September 11, 2013


A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Thursday, September 12 in Room 219 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Dr. John Gavloski, Extension Entomologist, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, will be presenting “Forecasting Insect Populations on Field Crops in Manitoba and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.”  Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

The Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre is taking part in Open Farm Day this Sunday, September 15, from 10 am to 4 pm. Part of Manitoba Agriculture’s annual event where registered farms across the province open their doors to the public for day, this event is perfect for learning about where your food comes from! Visit the Discovery Centre to watch bees make honey, “milk” a cow, make a living necklace and crush canola seed into oil.  Manitoba Pork will be providing a pork-on-bun lunch from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. Entrance and lunch are FREE at this event! For information for all the farms involved in this annual event, please visit

The first seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series for 2013-2014 will be held on Wednesday, September 18 in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.  Ranjan Sri Ranjan, Biosystems Engineering, will be presenting "Optimizing Farm-Level Water Management to Protect Lake Water Quality".  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Learn how to make the traditional potato pierogi! The Farm & Food Discovery Centre’s Perfect Potato Pierogi workshop will take place on Saturday, September 21, from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. Pierogi pinching tips and alternative fillings will be discussed. Take home some of the pierogies that you pinch!!  Cost: $20+GST  Please call 883-2524 or email by September 19 to register.

The 2013 University of Manitoba Homecoming will be from September 23-29 this fall. The Faculty is hosting an Tea and Tour of the Agriculture Building on the Fort Garry Campus on Friday, September 27 at 1 pm. All are welcome!

The University of Manitoba Visionary Conversations series will host its first session of the 2013-2014 season on Wednesday, September 25 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre. "Welcome to Winnipeg: Population One Million" will explore how a population of one million may transform Winnipeg and what it will mean for economic development, safety and community planning. For more details on the full season, visit

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Thursday, September 26 in Room 219 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Dr. David Walker, Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources, Department of Environment and Geography, Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), will be presenting. Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, September 26 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Gary Martens, Department of Plant Science, will be presenting “From Theory to Practice”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The 18th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference themed "Climate Change and Grain Transportation" will take place October 22 at the Delta Hotel. Despite weather extremes of heat, cold, drought and flooding, Canada has built a globally successful agricultural export base with a reliable transportation system. Extreme weather events aren’t new, and past major disruptions have been followed by drawn out and costly recovery. Recently though, such weather events have become more extreme and more frequent, a sign of a changing climate.  The annual Fields on Wheels Conference deals with a topical issue about Western Canadian agricultural supply chains that support the grain industry’s ability to compete in global markets. This year the event will consider the impact of climate change on agricultural output and on transportation service providers, with emphasis on how they plan to cope with new challenges and emergencies. You need to be a part of these important discussions if you are a stakeholder to this critical industry, as a producer, a carrier or logistics service provider, a policymaker, regulator, academic or a customer. Register now for the 18th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference and take advantage of the early bird rate of $295 plus GST per person - regular rate of $345 will apply after September 27.  Full details and view the agenda at




Last week, the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences was singled out as having the highest enrolment increase at the University of Manitoba, with a 23.7% increase in degree enrolment in Fall 2013. The Diploma in Agriculture program enrolment has also increased, and there are now more than 600 students in undergraduate programs in the Faculty. Read the full story.

Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, will lead a $2.976-million H2O CREATE program, with assistance from the university’s Centre for Human Rights Research and in collaboration with Trent University, University College of the North, the Assembly of First Nations and industry partners.  Read the news release at and learn more about H2O Create at

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, participated in a news conference on August 16 where Western Economic Diversification announced $242,000 in funding for special equipment to enable Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, in partnership with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, to undertake agronomic research. The equipment will be used in Yvonne's pulse and corn agronomic studies at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman. See the news release at

The late Dr. Baldur Stefansson, "Father of Canola" and renowned University of Manitoba plant scientist, was honoured with the unveiling of a bust in his likeness in August. Dr. Stefansson was the first person honoured at the new Innovation Plaza on the Fort Garry campus, a public space in front of the Buller Building intended to inspire visitors and celebrate the achievements of noted University of Manitoba scholars and researchers. Read the full story of the event.

A number of students and faculty of the Department of Biosystems Engineering were award recipients at the Canadian Society for Bioengineering annual meeting held in Saskatoon in July.  Nazim Cicek received the John Turnbull Award from the Canadian Society for Bioengineering for his outstanding contributions to waste management through his faculty position in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. Grace Kankindi was the 2013 recipient of the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. Vanessa Krahn received the CSBE Undergraduate Thesis Award for 2013 for her thesis entitled “Evaluating the hydraulic control and degradation of hydrocarbon contaminants using poplar and willows on a phytoremediation site” (Advisor: R. Sri Ranjan). The University of Manitoba Association of Tiny Tractors (UMATT) ¼ Scale Tractor Team received the CSBE Undergraduate Design Project Award for 2013 for their entry in the 2013 ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Competition in Peoria, IL (Advisor: D. Petkau).  Idris Adelakun received the CSBE Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.) for his thesis entitled “Design of a multilevel-TDR probe for measuring soil water content” (Advisor: R. Sri Ranjan).

Ian Brown, Greenhouse Manager in the Department of Plant Science will retire on September 13 after 42 years!  Ian has been a permanent fixture in the Department of Plant Science since beginning  his career in 1971 as a temporary research assistant.  From April 1972 until July 1975 Ian was a technician then moved to a research assistant position until April 1980 when he became the greenhouse manager.  All the best Ian in your well-deserved retirement! We are pleased to announce that Rob Visser has accepted the Controlled Environment Supervisor position (greenhouse manager) replacing Ian Brown.  Rob completed his M.Sc. in the Department of Plant Science under the supervision of Dr. Elmer Stobbe.  Rob comes with experience in greenhouse and storage facilities, cooling system equipment, as well as farm experience.  Rob has been working on project funded positions as a casual technician since September 2011.  Welcome Rob!

Over the summer months Peter Jones, Director of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, presented a wide range of topics to a variety of conferences including "Working Group on Foods with Health Benefits: Essentiality of Nutrients" Danone Institute, Paris, France; "Health Benefits of Prebiotics: Future Trends in Research" Probiotic and Prebiotic Workshop hosted by RCFFN; "Effects of Dietary Cholesterol with and without Simvastatin on Cholesterol Absorption and Synthesis in Smith-Lemli-Optiz Syndrome & Stable Isotope Approaches to Cholesterol Trafficking" STAIR Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA;  "The Skinny on Fats: New Functional Benefits with Healthy Oils – Emerging Roles for Various Fatty Acids in Health" IFT, Chicago, IL; "Effects of Beans on Cholesterol Lowering Responses to Questions Posed to Review Pane" Pulse Canada Expert Panel Worksop on Beans and Cholesterol Lowering, Toronto, ON; "Plant Sterol versus Statins: Clinical Efficacy in Cholesterol Management" Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine, Portland, OR; "Best Practices for Food-Based Clinical Trial: Guidance for Planning, Conducting and Reporting on Human Studies to Support Health Claims" Office of Research Services Clinical Trial Workshop; and "Use of Stable Isotope Labelled Compounds in Human Nutrition Studies" FIKores Seoul Korea.

Entomology's Jordan Bannerman, along with help from Kateryn Rochon and Barb Sharanowski, was involved in the first offering of the field course in applied entomology which was held August 22-27 for students in the degree program.  Thirteen students learned “hands-on” approaches to sampling and studying insects in agricultural and natural ecosystems.

Rob Currie, Entomology, was invited to speak at the Eastern Apiculture Society meeting at West Chester University in Pennsylvania from  August 8-10.

Terry Galloway, Entomology, is on Research leave until December 1.  He will be spending the first part of his leave in Winnipeg but has plans to New Zealand sometime in December where he will be working on completion of a research project.

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, will be attending the Congress of the Society for Vector Ecology held in La Quinta, California, September 22-27.   A student in the Department,  Matt Yunik, has received an award to present the poster "Overwintering survival of adult American dog tick,  D. variabilis, in a second winter at the northern limit of its range in Manitoba, Canada" at the same meeting.

Alejandro Costamagna, Entomology, attended the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN August 4 -9 where he presented the poster "Landscape-scale pest suppression is mediated by timing of predation".

The Plant Science Graduate Student Association was able to donate $650 with food donations to Winnipeg Harvest from the Charity BBQ held in August. A big thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting Winnipeg Harvest!

Check out the NCLE Summer 2013 Newsletter featuring the article "NCLE approach to research, education and outreach resonates with new academics and students". 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!


Fraser, T.J. and B.D. Amiro. 2013. Initial carbon dynamics of perennial grassland conversion for annual cropping in Manitoba.  Canadian Journal of Soil Science 93: 379-391. 


Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, discusses the persistence and transport of agrichemicals in the article "Pesticides and groundwater" in Grainews (September 9). See page 7 -

The work being done by Don Flaten and Francis Zvumoya, Soil Science, and Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering, on struvite update and extraction was highlighted in the artice "Mining manure" in Grainews (September 9). See page 20 -

Martin Entz, Plant Science, provides an indepth look into the practice of intercropping in the article "Six things to consider when intercropping" in Grainews (September 9). See page 24 -

David Lobb, Soil Science, talks about the most effective wind erosion control measures in the article "Managing wind erosion" in Grainews (September 9). See page 26 -

Gary Martens, Plant Science, wrote his sixth instalment from Northern Blossom Farm entitled "The Manitoba harvest: ‘To every thing there is a season’" in the Manitoba Co-operator (September 5). See page 5 -

Brian Amiro, Associate Dean (Academic), was interviewed by Western Producer and Manitoba Farm Report on the increase in Faculty enrolment this fall.

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, as noted above was part of a news conference announcing funding for field equipment for corn and pulse research.  and


Agriculture Building Fall and Winter Hours - Effective September 5, 2013 to April 30, 2014, the Agriculture Building hours will be: open Monday-Friday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; Holidays – closed.

What are you doing after work on Fridays this winter? Come curl with us in Aggie Row Curling, a friendly and long-running league with folks from the Faculty and from Agriculture Canada. We play Friday afternoons at 4:30 at the Pembina Curling Club - close by and easy to get to. The season starts in October 11 and runs til March. No experience is necessary and all are welcome. Full time or half time curlers welcome. For more information contact Paula Parks at

The 8th Annual Undergraduate Student Research Poster Competition sponsored by the University of Manitoba, Office of the Vice-President (Research) will take place October 30, 2013 from 1:00 - 4:30 pm in the Manitoba Room, University Centre, Fort Garry Campus. The posters may be set up after 11:30 am. This is a great opportunity for members of the university community and the general public to see the relevance, value, and outstanding calibre of research being conducted by young researchers at the University of Manitoba.  Students may wish to present the results of an undergraduate honours thesis completed in the previous academic year; present the results of a summer 2013 research project; or present an original research/scholarly/creative works project that was completed in an undergraduate course.  Posters will be judged by representatives from the university community, industry, government and community organizations. Awards will be presented at 4:00 pm.  Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively will be awarded to the top three posters in each of the following five categories: applied sciences; health sciences; natural sciences; social sciences/humanities; and creative works.  An iPad (sponsored by the Faculty of Human Ecology) will be awarded by the Qualitative Research Group (QRG) to the top poster describing qualitative research. The application form is available at and is due Friday, October 18. You can contact Fred at 474-6689 or via email at if you have any questions.

Teaching Workshops - The Centre for Advancement of Teaching and Learning (formerly known as University Teaching Services or UTS) is once again offering a suite of teaching workshops.  See the schedule at

AG e-news > September 11, 2013