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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

February 27, 2014


Botany, Books and Beyond is an exhibition of contemporary artists’ books and the acquisition of Kew Garden’s journal Curtis’ Botanicals donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the family of renowned Manitoba horticulturalist Frank Skinner.  In addition, early botanicals from the early 1700s and on from the Rare Book Room of Archives & Special Collections will be displayed. The artists include Pauline Braun, Janet Carroll, Camille Choboter, Karen Clavelle, Nicole Coulson, Deborah Danelley, Lorraine Douglas, Erwin Huebner, Reitlín Murphy, Ann Stinner. The exhibition will be open in 330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with special opening evenings Thursday, February 27, 6:00 – 9:00 pm and Thursday, March 27, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Final Ph.D. Oral Examination - Suresh Desai, Entomology, will defend his Ph.D. thesis entitled “The potential impact of pathogens on honey bee, Apis mellifera L. colonies and possibilities for their control” on Friday, February 28 at 2:30 pm in Room 130 Agriculture Building. Faculty, students, staff and general public are welcome to attend.

A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 4 in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am.  Carson Callum, M.Sc. student, will be presenting "Relationship between RFI, fertility, and lifetime reproductive efficiency in beef heifers and cows" to be followed by Allan Kotz, M.Sc. student, presenting "Enteric methane emissions in cattle: diurnal fluctuations and dietary impacts". 

The U of M 4-H Leaders Club Communications Competition is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4 at 7 pm in Room 137 Agriculture Building. The 4-H Future Leaders club members will make spoken and visual presentations to a panel of judges. The top presenter will represent their group at the Provincial 4-H Communications Competition. Everyone is welcome and light refreshments are available after the event.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, March 6 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Martin Entz, Plant Science, will be presenting “Taking the training wheels off the carbon cycle: a hopeful agricultural story”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The 2014 edition of the annual Direct Farm Marketing Conference & Tradeshow is coming to Steinbach March 7 and 8.  The conference will be held in Steinbach’s Pat Porter Active Living Centre. The conference is targeted to Manitoba agri-tourism operators, market garden owners, fruit growers and farmers’ market vendors throughout the province. More info and on-line registration at

The Ecological and Organic Farming Conference will be held Saturday, March 8 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB. The theme is “It All Begins with the Seed” and the topics will focus on seed and genetics for ecological and organic production systems, including field crops, vegetables and livestock. The day will also include a look at marketing options for large and small-scale farmers and more! This event is open to all - registration is $20 and includes lunch. Coffee and registration is at 9:00 am, and conference is 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Please pre-register by phone: 204-474-8563 or by email to: by March 4. For program info visit

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 11 in Room 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Dr. Mahmood Iranpour, Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, will be presenting “Studies on Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Arboviruses at National Microbiology Laboratory”.

A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 11 in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am.  Roseline Kahindi, Ph.D. student, will be presenting "Optimum lysine and methane for piglets fed anti-biotic free diets".

It's time once again for Discover Agriculture in the City, a free, three-day event featuring interactive displays and live presentations from key organizations in the agriculture industry that will take place March 13-15 downtown at the Forks Market. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, along with partner organizations, have developed this event for urban Canadians to explore and discover the important role agriculture plays in their lives. Come see the Food Fight at the Forks featuring our very own food product development students, enjoy cooking demos and many other activities. For more information, visit

A Canola Connect Farm and Food Workshop entitled "Farm and Food: Start the Conversation" will be held Tuesday, March 18 at 5:30 pm in Room 130 Agriculture Building. This free event features ag and food advocates Dr. Cami Ryan and Michele Payn-Knoper, who will debunk myths in science, ag and food. They will also guide the audience in learning how to respond to questions about food and farm. All are welcome - free pizza available!

The Food Development Centre is planning a one-day seminar entitled “Developing Functional Food Products: Role of Functional Ingredients” to be held at the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, on Thursday, March 20. The focus of the seminar is to demonstrate the role and benefits of functional ingredients in food products. Participants will learn about the functionality, nutritional and health benefits of these ingredients and how they can be positioned to gain competitive advantage for food processors and meet consumer demands for healthy products with clean labels. For more information about the seminar, please contact Jackie Simpson-Cleaver at the Food Development Centre at 204-239-3150 or 1-800-870-1044 or email

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 25 in Room 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Rob Duncan, Plant Science, will be presenting “Breeding for every trait - except resistance to our most damaging pests”.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, March 27 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Ed Rempel, Manitoba Canola Growers Association, will be presenting “Conversations with a farmer: variety selection and decision making for the 2014 growing season”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.


Studies of food were the big winners in the Finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition held on Tuesday night at the University of Manitoba. Four of the nine finalists had food-related subjects for their doctoral theses.  The winner of the People’s Choice award was Filiz Koksel from the Department of Food Science, with her presentation "The Perfect Loaf of Bread: Insights from X-rays, Sound Waves and Bubble Dynamics".  Second place was a study on access to food from Olivia Sylvester in the Natural Resources Institute, while the overall winner was Andrea Edel for her study on using food as the means of reducing heart disease and strokes. Read more at

At a news conference this week, it was announced the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba has received $300,000 in grants from the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) to fund two safety projects aimed at agriculture students and farmers. The funding is part of the WCB’s Research and Workplace Innovation Program (RWIP), which supports innovative projects and scientific research to help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses. Read more on the announcement at

Kris Dick, Biosystems Engineering, just returned with his student group from working on a project in rural Honduras. This is an annual project that he leads with a group called Students For Sustainability. A total of 12 students from Biosystems, Civil, Nursing and Architecture worked at an elementary school on a rainwater collection system, water filtration system, irrigation for a school garden, teaching classes in health and other construction projects. Students stay with local families to gain some insight into life in Honduras. All elements of the project were designed by the students over the fall term on their own time working with Kris and his graduate student Garry Enns. They are already planning for next year's project.

Trust Beta, Food Science, will be attending the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) Foundation strategic meeting as a member of the board. The meeting takes place February 27-28 at the AACCI Headquarters in Minneapolis. Last year, three of our graduate and undergraduate food science students were able to compete and secure scholarships and fellowships from the AACCI Foundation.

Anne Kirk and Martin Entz, Plant Science, organized a meeting on Farmer Participatory Plant Breeding in Regina on February 21.  That same day, a story about the program appeared in the "Seed Manitoba" journal.

As part of the University’s Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Day on February 21, the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment hosted Grade 11 and 12 students from Winnipeg and rural Manitoba as they explored “Greenhouse Gases from Agriculture: Microscopic activities of atmospheric proportions.” Special thanks to hosts of the learning stations: Brian Amiro, Brad Sparling, Taryn Dickson, Amanda Taylor, Ashley Soloway, Dept. of Soil Science, and Kim Ominski, Ehsan Khafipour, Shucong Li and Allan Kotz, Dept. Animal Science.

Also last Friday the Faculty hosted a group of science teachers for the workshop "Putting the Gee! in Genome", co-organized with Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba and Genome Prairie. The teachers participated in a hands-on lab session, and toured the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. The afternoon was capped off with a panel discussion representing farming, industry and R&D.


The William R. Newman Library reports that they have installed a new accessibility table. This is a rectangular table 30” x 48” with a counterbalance base which makes for a very easy height adjustment.  This table will accommodate a wheelchair.


Selin, C., Manuel, J., Fernando, W.G.D., and de Kievit, T.R. 2014.  Expression of the Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain PA23 Rsm system is under control of GacA, RpoS, PsrA, quorum sensing and the stringent response. Biological Control 69:24-33. 

Berry, C.L., Nandi, M., Manuel, J., Brassinga, A.K.C., Fernando, W.G.D., Loewen, P.C. and de Kievit, T.R. 2014.  Characterization of the Pseudomonas sp. DF41 quorum sensing locus and its role in fungal antagonism.  Biological Control 69:82-89. 


Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Four Rs keep the regulators at bay, MSSS hears" in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 20). He noted that while there is no one-size-fits-all fertilization system, the key to success is in "matching rates to crop requirements and removal rates, and using a combination of placement, timing and source that maximizes chemical availability while minimizing losses". Read it on page 17 at

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Soybean pest dragnet turns up empty" in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 20). He reported that based on soil samples taken in 2012 and 2013, the province still seems to be free of soybean rust nematodes. Read it on page 18 at

Iris Vaisman, Plant Science, was quoted in the article "Yield not first priority in organic breeding trials" in the Western Producer (February 27) which describes how plant breeders at the University of Manitoba are taking the first steps toward develping organic varieties. Iris noted that similar breeding programs have been successful in North Africa and the Middle East, because the researchers are working with farmers to develop locally adapted crops. Read it on page 36 at

Paul Gregoire and Rob Gulden, Plant Science, were quoted in the article "Canola in soybeans not likely worth spraying?" in the Western Producer (February 20).  Paul, who did field trials in 2012 and 2013 to assess yield loss from volunteer canola, noted that while fields may look worrisome, the volunteers don't typically reach a density that substantially restrict yields. Read it on page 4 at

Laura Lazo, Student Services, was quoted in the CAAR Communicator (February 2014) in the article "Help Wanted: A guide to hiring seasonal staff". Laura say that employers are looking for leadership qualities and the ability to work independently, and that the best way to find good candidates is through networking.


Fiscal Year End - Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2013 is fast approaching. Staff are reminded to make all purchases, travel and business claims soon. For year-end guidelines and schedule, please see Financial Services website at

Calling all photographers! You are invited to enter the Discover Ag in the City Photo Contest. This new competition is part of the March weekend event celebrating Manitoba agriculture, held each year at The Forks. Photo themes include General Agriculture; Innovation; and Food in both youth and adult categories. Cash prizes for top three in both categories, plus the top adult winner will receive a gift certificate for Photo Tours Manitoba. Entries close Friday, February 28 at 6 pm - no charge to enter. Entry form and additional instructions can be found at Prizes will be awarded at The Forks Market, Friday, March 14 at 7 pm.

AG e-news > February 27, 2014