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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

July 17, 2014


On Thursday, July 17 the Blue Bombers will host the Edmonton Eskimos. The Event Day Parking Plan goes into effect at 6:00 pm, 90 minutes before kick-off. Complete details about alternate parking locations and other event dates are listed at

The Natural Systems Agriculture program will offer the inaugural Advanced Organic Crop Diagnostic School on Friday, July 18, 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB. This is an advanced-level, all-day workshop that will feature in-depth sessions on nutrient management in organic systems, weed management, soil health, and more. If you are an experienced organic farmer, agronomist or extension agent wanting to expand your knowledge of the whys and hows of organic crop management, this workshop may be for you. Cost: $35/person (includes lunch). Pre-registration required - maximum 100 people. Call Monika Menold at 204-745-5663 to register. Visit for more details.

The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is pleased to present a summer day camp that will be held from Monday, July 21, to Friday, July 26. Every day will be filled with many fun and exciting activities focusing on agriculture and food in Manitoba. This camp is open to children between the ages of 7 to 13. There are only 15 spots available so register soon! To learn more, contact or 204-883-2524, or see the camp program at

The Long-Term Field Studies Tour will take place at the Glenlea Research Station on Tuesday, July 22 from 1 pm to 4 pm. Join us for our 30-year celebration to discover how young and not-so-young continuous field studies are transforming our understanding of the consequences of our soil, nutrient and crop management decisions over time on a whole systems level. The tour will include the relatively young National Centre for Livestock and the Environment Long Term Manure and Crop Management Field Site featuring N- and P-based application rates in two cropping systems. As well, visitors will see the 23-year-old Glenlea Long-Term Crop Rotation Study with Organic, Low Input and Conventional Crop Production Systems - Canada’s oldest organic field experiment. Let us know if you are coming - RSVP to

Also mark your calendar for the Ecological and Organic Farming Systems Field Tour on the evening of Tuesday, July 22 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm.  Those who are just beginning in organic farming are encouraged to attend this tour, rather than the Advanced Diagnostic School.  This free evening tour runs from 6 pm to 8 pm and is open to all who are interested in learning about our research in the Natural Systems Agriculture lab or about ecological and organic farming in general. Visit for more details.

Bring your family out to Dairy Day at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre on Monday, July 28. Learn how to milk a cow! Make cheese, butter and homemade ice cream. Day runs from 10 am to 3:30 pm but come before noon to get in on our dairy barn tour. Fun for the whole family! Admission costs are: Adult $8.40, Youth (6-16) $5.25, Child $2.10 and a family (2 adults and 1-4 youth) $21.00. For more information, contact or 204-883-2524

A Horticultural Diagnostic School will be held on Thursday, July 31 at the Canada Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre, 370 River Road, Portage la Prairie. Presented by MAFRD, CMCDC and Assiniboine Community College, this event will be of interest to market gardeners, vegetable and fruit producers. Registration begins at 8:15 am and sessions will be over by 3:15 pm (rain or shine). Pre-registration required for lunch - please contact or call (204) 745-5661. High Tunnel sessions in the morning, and entomology, pathology, weeds and soils sessions in the afternoon. Registrants can choose to attend either morning High Tunnel session, afternoon agronomy session or both for the same cost of $25/person (includes lunch and refreshments).

The We Can Do It! Canning Workshop will be held Saturday, August 9, 10:30 am - 2 pm at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Join us to learn how to can pickles, peaches and more. All the supplies will be provided for you as well as a recipe book. The cost of the workshop is $65. Register soon as only 15 spots are available! Registration closes August 5, 2014. Call 204-883-2524 or email

The Farm and Food Discovery Centre is teaming up again with Ag in the Classroom for a Made in Manitoba Breakfast on Saturday, August 23 from 9:30 am to 12 noon.  Come out the centre and enjoy hotcakes, sausages and fruit. All products being used are produced right here in Manitoba. For more information please call 1-204-883-2524 or email

The University of Manitoba Transport Institute (UMTI) is pleased to present the Warming of the North Conference in Ottawa, Ontario from March 1-3, 2015 (PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE). This major international transportation conference will bring together stakeholders from government, academia, private and public industry and business to discuss the impact of warming trends on transportation in the North.  The theme of the conference is Implications for Arctic Transportation, Supply Chain Management, and Economic Development.  With Canada in the role of Chair of the Arctic Council, it is vital that the country take the lead on presenting the issues facing the world as the passages in the North open up to shipping traffic.  The agenda is now available to view and registration is officially open for this event.  Please visit or go directly to the conference information page here


Please join the Departments of Animal Science and Food Science in welcoming Dr. Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez to the Faculty. Dr. Rodas-Gonzalez joined the Faculty as an Assistant Professor in Meat Science and Food Safety on July 1. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and M.Sc. in Meat Science from Universidad Del Zulia in Venezuela and  a Ph.D. in Meat Science from Texas Tech University, USA. He brings with him 16 years’ experience as an Associate Professor of Meat Science and Technology in Venezuela, and over two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Lacombe Research Centre, Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada. Dr. Rodas-Gonzalez has a cross-appointment with Food Science with his office located in room 229 Animal Science.

The Faculty learned of the passing of Dr. Ron Pereira, retired professor from the Department of Food Science.  Dr. Pereira was an original staff member of the Department, beginning in 1966. He served as acting head for a period. His obituary can be found at|DESC,last_name|ASC,first_name|ASC/.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Support Staff Awards - Christine Rawluk, National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, and Dave Holder, Entomology. All nominees and nominators were acknowledged at an Animal Science BBQ – many thanks to Animal Science for hosting the event. Congratulations to each of you - your support helps make the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences an outstanding workplace!

Tee Boon Goh, Soil Science, was recognized by his alma mater, the University of Malaya with the title "Prominent UMAGAN".  The University of Malaya Agricultural Graduates Alumni (UMAGA, with the individuals knowns as UMAGANs) conferred the title at the 2014 Homecoming in Kuala Lumpur. From 1963 to 1977, the Faculty of Agriculture at University of Malaya conferred 730 undergraduate degrees. Tee Boon was a member of the last graduating class and one of the select group of graduates who was honoured with this title.

Carla Taylor, Human Nutritional Sciences, is the lead for the Canadian clinical research of a project between Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network and Minnesota-based Step One Foods. Manitoba Jobs and the Economy is investing $200,000 in the clinical trials this fall between the Canadian Centre for Agri Food Research in Health and Medicine at St. Boniface Research Centre and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The project is using food and nutrient therapies to address prediabetes. Read more at

Ehsan Khafipour and Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, and four of their graduate students, research associate and technical staff, Allan Kotz, Hamidreza Khazanehei, Shucong Li, and Paula Azevedu, are presenting at the Joint Annual Meeting of American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), and Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS), which will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, July 20-24. Ehsan and Kees have an invited paper at the “Ruminant Nutrition Symposium: The rumen microbiome and nutritional health and production” entitled “The microbiome and animal health” co-authored with Greg Penner, University of Saskatchewan and Liluo Guan, University of Alberta. Hamid Khazanehei, Ph.D. student, will give an invited talk at the same symposium entitled “Effect of different dry period managements on rumen microbiome composition”. Shucong Li, Research Associate, will give a talk entitled “The microbiome composition of the hindgut is altered following weaning in dairy calves: impact of different weaning strategies”. Mike Steele, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta, will be presenting a collaborative work with Ehsan, Kees, Shucong and Paula entitled “Development of rumen microbiota in dairy calves: impact of weaning and different weaning strategies”. Ehsan will be presenting a poster on behalf of Hooman Derakhshani, Ph.D. student with Ehsan, whose poster is selected as Presidential Pick’s – one of the 36 posters (among 1200 posters) selected by ASAS president, past president, and president elect – to be presented in ASAS award ceremony. Hooman’s poster entitled “The microbiome composition of the rumen is altered during the peripartal period in dairy cattle”. Allan Kotz, M.Sc. Student, will be competing in CSAS graduate student competition. His talk is entitled “Diurnal variations in enteric methane emissions from non-lactating dairy cows offered diets differing in forage to grain ration”. Kees is giving two oral presentations on “The effects of grain-induced subactue ruminal acidosis on interleukin-6 and acute phase response in dairy cows” and “Optimizing phosphorus utilization by dairy cows”.

Peris Munyaka and Elnaz Azad, Ph.D. students with Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, and Anne Mette Danscher, Assistant Professor at University of Copenhagen, collaborating with Ehsan and Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, presented at the "International Scientific Conference on Prebiotics and Probiotics", which was held in Budapest, Hungary, June 24-26th. Peris won the second prize for best poster presentation among students from 80 countries. Her poster entitled “Intestinal microbiome profile in a piglet model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): The impact of prebiotic (resistant starch) and Escherichia coli-derived probiotics”. Elnaz’s oral talk was one of the 11 oral presentations nominated for Young Scientist Award. Elnaz presentation entitled “Effect of Propionibacterium acidipropionici, P169 on rumen and fecal microbiota of beef cattle fed a corn-based diet”. Anne Mette gave an oral talk on the “Alteration in fecal microbiota associated with grain-induced subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) challenge in dairy cows”.

Peris Munyaka, Ph.D. student with Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, and Anne Mette Danscher, Assistant Professor at University of Copenhagen, collaborating with Ehsan and Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, presented posters at the "Gut Microbiology: From sequence to function" which was held in Aberdeen, Scotland, June 16-19. Peris presented a poster entitled “AIEC pathobiont and carrageenan gum alter gut microbiome profile in a pig model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)”. Anne Metter presented a poster entitled “Rumen microbiome composition in cattle during grain-induced subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA)”.

Hooman Derakhshani, Ph.D. student with Ehsan Khafipour, gave an oral presentation in the "12th International Colloquium on Paratuberculosis" which was held in Parma, Italy, June 22-26. His talk entitled “Gut microbiota profiling of dairy calves infected by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP): impacts of infection dose and age at the time of infection.

Ru Li, Postdoctoral Fellow under Create H2O program working with Annemieke Forenhorst, Soil Science; Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science; Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science; and Ayush Kumar, Microbiology, presented at the Annual CREATE H2O meeting, which was held in Winnipeg  June 25-26. Her talk entitled “Comparison of PMA-based 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing methodologies to discriminate dead and active microbes in water samples”.

The Annual Meeting of Poultry Science Association will be held in Corpus Christi, July 14-17. Several posters and oral talks on the Poultry Microbiome will be given by animal students working with Woo Kyun Kim, Martin Nyachoti, and Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science; and Elijah Kiarie, Danisco Animal Nutrition, DuPont Industrial Biosciences. Yvette Shang, M.Sc. student, will give an oral presentation on “Ileum and cecum microbiota of broiler chickens in response to low calcium and available phosphorus diet supplemented with fructooligosaccharide”. She is also presenting two posters on behalf of Peris Munyaka and Navjot Nandha, student and technical staff with Ehsan Khafipour. These posters entitled “Impact of fibre degrading feed enzymes on gut microbiome profile in broiler chickens fed corn/corn DDGS or viscous grains (wheat, barley and rye) based diets” and “Impact of fibre degrading feed enzymes on growth performance and nutrient utilization in broiler chickens fed corn/corn DDGS or viscous grains (wheat, barley and rye) based diets”.

The NSERC CWSE-Prairies brings you the next issue of their newsletter, which includes the announcement of two recipients of the $6000 ICAN-WISE student scholarship. Read it at

Admin update as of July 1:  Dr. Karin Wittenberg is Acting Dean for the Faculty for a six-month term. Dr. Jared Carlberg will continue as Acting Associate Dean (Academic) for another six month term. Dr. Martin Scanlon has returned as Acting Associate Dean (Research) for a six month term. Dr. Michael Trevan assumes the role of Acting Department Head, Food Science for a one year term. Dr. Nazim Cicek assumes the role of Acting Department Head, Biosystems Engineering for a one year term, and Dr. Jitendra Paliwal has accepted the role of Associate Head. Dr. Carla Taylor is the Acting Department Head, Human Nutritional Sciences for a six month term.

Research Study/Admin Leaves:  Heading out on leave are Martin Nyachoti, Animal Science (July 1/14 to Dec 31/14); Danny Mann, Biosystems Engineering (July 1/14 to June 30/15); Jim House, Human Nutritional Sciences (Apr 1/14 to Mar 31/15); Rotimi Aluko, Human Nutritional Sciences (July 1/14 to Dec 31/14); and Semone Myrie, Human Nutritional Sciences (July 1/14 to Dec 31/14).  Returning from leave are Brian Amiro, Soil Science; Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics; Barb Sharanowski, Entomology; and Peter McVetty, Plant Science (retired as of July 1).


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Khaled Al-Taweel, W.G. Dilantha Fernando, Anita Brule-Babel (2014) Transcriptome profiling of wheat differentially expressed genes exposed to different chemotypes of Fusarium graminearum. Theoretical and Applied Genetics DOI 10.1007/s00122-014-2333-8.

Chiyoka, W.K., F. Zvomuya, and X. Hao. 2014. Changes in nitrogen availability in Chernozemic soils amended with anaerobically digested cattle manure. Soil Sci. Soc Am. 2014 78: 3: 843-851

Gao, X., Tenuta, M., Buckley, K.E., Zvomuya, F. and Ominski, K. 20141. Greenhouse gas emissions from pig slurry applied to forage legumes on a loamy sand soil in south central Manitoba. Can J. Soil Sci. 94: 149-155

Cicek, H., Entz, M.H., Thiessen Martens, J.R. and Bullock, P.R. 2014. Productivity and nitrogen benefits of late season legume cover crops in organic wheat production. Can J Plant Sci 94:771-783. 


Kim Ominski, Animal Science, was quoted in the article "Nutritional needs rise as mercury dips" in the Western Producer (July 10). Kim says producers must keep a close eye on cattle during periods of extreme cold as nutrient deficiencies affect fetal growth and heifer health. Read it on page 72 at

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was interviewed in the article "Manitoba arthropod populations expanding" one the Manitoba Co-operator website(July 15). Kateryn provided some insight into the increased range of ticks in Manitoba and what that means for cattle producers. Read it at

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was featured in the article Guenther: Wanted for science: Southern Alberta canola fields" on the Manitoba Co-operator website (July 15).   Dilantha is leading a team seeking to pinpoint avirulence genes in blackleg found in farmers’ fields. Read it at

Gary Martens, Plant Science, was highlighted in a photo in the Manitoba Co-operator (July 17) when he received a certificate of appreciation and a lifetime free registration for the Crop Diagnostic School at Carman. See it on page 3 at

Digvir Jayas, Biosystems Engineering and VP Research, was quoted in the article "Full capacity drives bin purchases" in the Manitoba Cooperator (July 17). Digvir says farmers are investing in more grain storage, due to larger harvests and longer shipping processes. Read it on page 35 at

Martin Scanlon’s article in the AIA publication, Moving Toward Prairie Agriculture 2050, was revised and printed as a shorter article on page 24 in the July/August edition of the magazine albertaviews as the article “Life After Big Macs”.



The 2014 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards recognize and honour people, projects and ideas that successfully turn the principles and guidelines of sustainable development into lasting achievements. Any individual, business, institution, organization, community group and youth in Manitoba is eligible to apply or be nominated in a variety of categories. Nominate someone you know or apply yourself! For application/nomination instructions and forms, please visit: The deadline for submitting an application or nomination is 12:00 noon, Friday, September 26, 2014.

The 3rd Annual Ag Shed Building Challenge - HAMMER FOR HOPE - is scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2014 / 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 3rd 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 August 1, 2014 with a deposit of $500.  Full entry fee required by October 3, 2014. Limited to the first 15 teams.  If someone is willing to become a Faculty team leader, please contact Crystal at 204-474-9435 or  If you'd like to become a team member, please contact me as well.  More info at

AG e-news > July 17, 2014