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AG e-news

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

October 10, 2013


A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled "Does egg consumption improve visual function of people who are at high risk of developing age-related macular degeneration?" will be presented by Chelsey Walchuk, Human Nutritional Sciences, on Tuesday, October 15 at 3:00 pm in 207 Human Ecology Building.

A special seminar entitled "Growing Innovation" will provide an explanation of MAFRI’s Growing Forward 2 programs, including details of the new Agri-Food Research and Development Initiatives (ARDI) program, to increase Manitoba’s economic competitiveness and sustainability through innovation. Speaker Dr. Daryl Domitruk, Director, Agri-Food Innovation and Adaptation, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), will present on Wednesday, October 16, at 3:00 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building (66 Dafoe Road). There will be coffee and donuts at 2:50 pm.

The Internationally Educated Agrologists Post-Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IEAP) is having an Orientation Session for people interested in joining the IEAP for the 2014-2015 commencement on Wednesday, October 16, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm in Room 252 Agriculture (66 Dafoe Road). Please download the registration form at

Join us for "Tales of an Aggie Grad: From Campus to Career", a special seminar by Kim McConnell on Thursday, October 17 in Room 172 Agriculture Building at 1:00 pm. Don’t miss this engaging speaker, a Faculty grad who went on to run one of the largest agricultural marketing communications firms in North America. Kim is the founder and the former CEO of AdFarm, an agriculture-focused marketing and communications firm with clients and offices throughout Canada and the United States. Raised on a mixed farm in Manitoba, and a proud University of Manitoba Aggie, Kim and his family live on an acreage south of Calgary. Kim is passionate about Canada, agriculture, food, youth and the entrepreneurial spirit.  All students and staff are most welcome to join us. Come early for refreshments!

The 46th Annual Fall Convocation will be held Thursday, October 17, for degree, diploma and graduate students at 3:30 pm in the Investors Group Athletic Centre. Livestreaming available at

An Advanced Plant Science SPECIAL Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 17 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 7:00 pm.  Mark Shepherd, farmer and author, will be presenting “Restoration Agriculture”.  All are welcome to attend and refreshments will be available ahead of the event.  The Manitoba Conservation Districts Association is sponsoring this event.

There is still time to register for the 18th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference themed "Climate Change and Grain Transportation" taking place Tuesday, October 22 at the Delta Hotel.  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. Lunch speaker Kyle Swystun, International Institute for Sustainable Development , will discuss climate change, sustainability and the agricultural industry. Full details and registration at

The second seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series for 2013-2014 will be held on Wednesday, October 23 in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.  Brian Fristensky, Plant Science, will be presenting "Moving targets and millions of sequencing reads - Bioinformatics lessons from an international biofuels project".  The Genome Canada project “Microbial Genomics for Biofuels and Co-Products" provides a useful case study in how bioinformatics adaptation to changes in strategies, technologies, analytical methods, and software as a major international collaboration proceeds. As the project has evolved and data have proliferated, the challenges for analysis, integration, and management of this information has required the development of innovative analytical approaches and new software tools. One outgrowth of these efforts is the Bio Information Technologies Lab (Bit), with a core of expertise, servers and software, which are now being leveraged in new collaborations. The presentation will include a Q&A panel session.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Genome Prairie is hosting a workshop entiteld "Communicating the Science of Agriculture" to promote the importance of effective communication among the agriculture and biotechnology communities. The workshop will be on Thursday, October 24, 12 noon to 6 pm at the Riverside Country Club, Saskatoon, SK. Presenters will offer varying perspectives from industry and academia on ag-biotech communication and explore best-practices and real-world case studies. ORS contact: - Admission $35, register by October 18 as space is limited.

Needing some fun ideas on how to carve your jack 'o lantern this year? Dress up in your Halloween costume and join us at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre on Saturday, October 26 for All About Pumpkins from 10 am to 1 pm. This activity is complimentary with admission - simply bring your own pumpkin or buy one on-site. There will be a pumpkin pie making demonstration for adults, while the kiddies carve their pumpkins (with assistance). Enjoy a slice of pie for $2! Prizes for the best jack o' lantern and Halloween costume.

A Department of Soil Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, October 29 in Room 346 Ellis Building at 12 noon. Walter Fraser, Soil Specialist, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, will be presenting "Soil Landscapes of Canada Maps:  From Past to Present to Future".  All are welcome to attend.

An Intergenerational Succession Planning Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, in Room 130 Agriculture Building from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Facilitating the workshop will be Mr. Terry Betker, President and CEO of Backswath Management Inc. The workshop includes instruction and material on important parts of succession planning, using ‘real farm’ examples. It will provide opportunities for family members to apply succession planning principles to their own farm and family situations.  The event is designed to promote active communication and related family discussions relating to succession planning issues. Workshop Cost is $500 per family or group (maximum number per group is 4). Registration details online at

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Thursday, November 7 in Room 219 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Rob Currie, Entomology, will be presenting “To bee or not to bee? Solving the puzzle of how to manage honey bee colony losses.”  Refreshments served at 10:00 am. 



 The 32nd annual Aggie Bedpush ran this past weekend but was suspended on Sunday due to safety conditions on the highway. This year the students were running to raise money for the STARS Foundation, a helicopter ambulance service that offers time, hope and life-saving transport to critically ill and injured patients. Those wishing to still donate for the Aggie Bedpush should make all cheques payable to the “STARS Foundation.” Tax receipts will be issued to donations over $20. FASO will be accepting donations until November 22, 2013 and can be sent by mail to: FASO, 160-66 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB  R3T 2N2.

A special announcement was held on Monday, October 7, to celebrate the new NSERC CREATE H2O program led by Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science and NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie Region. This nearly $3 million program enables First Nations science and engineering students to develop specialized skills while helping secure community water systems in northern and remote communities and enhance aquatic ecosystem services.

A group of federal Conservative MPs toured the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment on October 7, where they were introduced to the NCLE systems-based approach to research, education, training and outreach. The group included Honourable Greg Rickford (Minister of State), Rob Bruinooge (MP for Winnipeg South), and Robert Sopuck (MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette).  A big thank you to all faculty, staff and students who participated.

The Faculty hosted a group of about 40 top level high school science students as part of Bio-Innovation Week on October 9 at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre. Their program this year was themed "Opportunities and Challenges in Attaining Food Security", and while visiting the Glenlea Farm they explored topics in agricultural sustainability, nutrient management and food biotechnology. Students in the program hailed from Canada, Japan, the UK and Australia. Thanks to all that took part in this event, including Martin Scanlon, Christine Rawluk, Siobhan Maas, Thea Green, Joe Ackerman and special guest Trish Jordan from Monsanto.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was an invited speaker at the Western Committee on Plant Disease meetings held in Winnipeg October 7-9. Dilantha presentation was titled "Blackleg management in Western Canada: would industry participation make a difference?"

Trust Beta, Food Science, attended the 2013 AACCI Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM, September 29 to October 2 where she gave an oral presentation under the Bioactives in Grains symposium that she co-organized on "Chemical and cellular antioxidant properties of insoluble and soluble dietary fibres derived from selected whole grain cereals" co-authored by former MSc student, Weiwei Guo and William Diehl-Jones of the Faculty of Nursing. She was also co-author of a poster presented on "Effect of genotype, environment, and their interaction on the phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities of red rice (Oryza Sativa  L.)". Victoria Ndolo, PhD student in Food Science, also attended the same conference where she presented on "Comparative studies on the composition and distribution of phenolic acids in yellow corn and non-corn botanical fractions".

The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals hosted several recent events. On September 26, the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network and the Dept. of Human Nutritional Sciences sponsored a special presentation of USDA research scientists on “Overview of Research Interests and Opportunities at the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Centre”.  On October 8 as a part of a fact finding and partnership seeking initiative, the Food Laboratory President from the Korea Food Information Institute, Mrs. Hye-jin Na, toured the RCFFN along with Alphonsus Utioh of the Food Development Centre and Lee Anne Murphy of the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was an invited speaker to the following conferences and presented “Biomarkers as Indicators of Health: Overview”, Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC October 1; “Inter-individual Variability of the Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factor Response to Plant Sterols”, 7th Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetic/Nutrigenomics in Quebec City, QC, October 7; and “A Food Forum Meeting on A New Perspective on the Latest Nutrition Science on Fats and Oils Healthy Oils: Emerging Roles for Various Fatty Acids in Health”, International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas, NV, October 9.

A reminder that recordings of the Faculty's monthly seminar series are available to view online at  The most recent post is Ranjan Sri Ranjan, Biosystems Engineering, with his presentation on "Optimizing Farm-Level Water Management to Protect Lake Water Quality". 



Rick Holley, Food Science, was quoted in the article "Confidence in local food safety may be unwise: experts" in the Western Producer (September 26) on page 19 at  Rick commented on how consumers seem to perceive locally produced food as being inherently safe.

Digvir Jayas, Biosystems Engineering and VP Research, was quoted in the article "Night only grain drying draws rebuttal from researchers" in the Western Producer (September 26) on page 81 at Digvir and colleague Chandra B. Singh from OPIsystems Inc. were disputing a claim that drying grain only at night was a poor method that could result in spoilage of grain.

Bill Guenter, Animal Science, was quoted in the article "Egg producers to phase out conventional bird cages" on the Manitoba Co-operator website. Bill notes that a significant amount of research went into developing enriched cages to ensure they suited the behavioural needs of chickens.



The Faculty's Agriculture Awards website has been updated with a number of graduate, degree and diploma awards. Please download the Application Forms at Deadline to apply is November 4, 2013.

REMINDER - 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.

Register now for an Asper MBA Information Session. Find out how and why an Asper MBA will open up a world of career options, increase your earning power, develop your management expertise, and build leadership skills that will change your life personally and professionally. Sessions are one hour in length and take place either in the Drake Centre on the Fort Garry Campus or at the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre, 2nd floor, 177 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg. Refreshments will be served. To register and select a time/location please go to:

AG e-news > October 10, 2013