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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

August 21, 2014


On Friday, August 22, the Blue Bombers will host the Montreal Alouettes. 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

Yum! 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 pancakes, 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 Discovery Centre is also hosting a Last Days of Summer Party on Wednesday, August 27, 10 am - 3 pm. With kids heading back to school, come out for the end of summer party. Fun agriculture activities for kids all day. There is a mini-canning workshop for the adults for only $15 in the afternoon. Don't bring a lunch because you can make your own personal pizza in our stone oven. For more information please call 1-204-883-2524 or email

The FAST program, a joint initiative between Université Laval and the University of Manitoba, is presenting an online seminar on Friday, August 29, at 1 pm CST. The seminar entitled “Metabolomics” will be presented by Dr. Michel Aliani, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. To register to attend, please complete the online form at by August 25.

University Fall Orientation runs September 2 and 3 – welcome those new students as they discover the Fort Garry campus, their classroom locations and each other!

Nana Marmah, Food Science, will be defending her M.Sc. thesis, “A Generic Model for Risk-Based Food Inspection in Canada: Assessment of Initial Biological Hazards and Risk Ranking for Inspection”, on Tuesday, September 2, in 245 Ellis Building at 9:30 am.

The U of M Bisons football season begins Friday, September 12. Tickets are available at with single game tickets ($15 adults/$8 seniors and students) and season tickets ($50 adults/$45 staff and alumni/$25 seniors and students). Get the whole schedule at

University of Manitoba Homecoming 2014 will run September 15-21.  Among the activities are a Visionary Conversations presentation, tours, Bisons football game and the Homecoming dinner and concert. A complete listing of Homecoming 2014 events is at

The Transport Institute will host the Northern Food Security Seminar - Discussion of Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel Report on Wednesday, October 1. Panellists will include Barry E. Prentice, Asper School of Business, Fikret Berkes, Geography, and Ian Mauro, Geography. Complete details including registration can be found at

The Agri Innovation Forum is once again coming to Winnipeg on November 18 and 19. This is the "Partnering Conference for the Agri-Bioeconomy." Save $200 with early bird registration by August 22. Complete program and registration details at


The Faculty learned of the August 9 passing of Dr. Thomas Devlin, 79, retired professor from the Department of Animal Science.  Dr. Devlin taught and conducted research in ruminant nutrition, particular in beef cattle, in the department for over 30 years, retiring in 1995. His complete obituary can be found at|DESC,last_name|ASC/.

The Dean's Office welcomes Regan Sarmatiuk, who is covering Valerie Diakiw's maternity leave. Regan will be the awards coordinator for the Faculty over the next year. She can be reached at 272-1688 or, and found in Room 248 Agriculture.

Digvir Jayas, Biosystems Engineering and vice president (research and international), was presented with the Kishida International Award by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) at their annual international meeting in Montreal in July. The award honors outstanding contributions to engineering-mechanization-technological programs of education, research, development, consultation or technology transfer that has resulted in significant improvements outside the United States. Digvir, a 31-year member of ASABE, was honored for his distinguished leadership and outstanding record of international collaboration in grain storage research and education. Read more about the award and Digvir's accomplishments at

The ASABE meeting was held jointly with the Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE/SCGAB), and a number of Biosystems Engineering students received CSBE awards at that event. Victoria Munro, Japandeep Sethi and Samantha Symons received the Undergraduate Design Project Award for a project entitled “Design of a Tire Cutting Stand” (Advisor: K. Dick). Katrice Kazmerik received the Undergraduate Thesis Award for a thesis entitled  “Mechanical property comparison of 3-dimensional printed models and cortical sheep bone” (Advisors:  S. Cenkowski & B. Unger). Jami Carter received the Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.) for a thesis entitled “Design and implementation of a sustainable housing system in Honduras” (Advisor: K. Dick). Sanjayan Satchithanantham received the Graduate Thesis Award (Ph.D.) for a thesis entitled “Water management effects on potato production and the environment” (Advisor: R. Sri Ranjan). Taylor Kirouac received the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship, which recognizes academic excellence among student members of the Society and is awarded each year to the student member of the Society with the highest GPA in the preceding semester.

Emma McGeough, Animal Science, received the Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist award 2014 at the Joint Annual Meeting of the ASAS-ADSA-CSAS in Kansas City in late July. The award is presented to a CSAS member who within a period of no greater than seven years from obtaining a Ph.D., has  demonstrated excellence in any area of animal and/or poultry science.

Emma has also learned that she is one of three inaugural researchers accepted into the new Beef Cattle Research Council Researcher Mentorship Program, a new initiative that will facilitate greater engagement of upcoming and new applied researchers with Canada’s beef industry.

Four Food Science students are receiving scholarships from the AACCI Foundation (AACC International was formerly known as the American Association of Cereal Chemists). Ph.D. student Victoria Ndolo won the Charles Becker Graduate Student Fellowship ($2500) and M.Sc. student Lilei Yu won the AACCI Graduate Student Scholarship ($2000). In the undergraduate student categories, both awards went to U of M students: Carly Isaak won the AACCI Tate and Lyle Undergraduate Student Scholarship ($1000) and Kaiwen Mu won the AACCI Kraft General Foods Undergraduate Scholarship ($1000).

Trust Beta and Ph.D. candidate Victoria Ndolo, Food Science, spent time in central and northern Malawi between June 11 and July 14 under the "Malawi Farmer-to-Farmer Agroecology" project sampling recently harvested crops for nutrient analysis.

Trust Beta, Food Science, attended the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) Foundation Board meeting held at the AACCI headquarters in Minneapolis, MN, on July 23.

Michael Trevan, acting head of Food Science, has been leading a task group of Association of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine faculty working with Canadian Food Inspection Agency and food industry leaders and recently presented the concept of "Safe Food Canada: the Learning Partnership" to a meeting of the Global Food Safety Partnership in Montreal on August 15 and again to a meeting of the Food and Consumer Products of Canada organization on August 18 in Toronto. Safe Food Canada will be a not-for-profit organization that will coordinate and certify education and training of public and private providers for those working in food safety in industry and government across Canada. Learn more about Safe Food Canada at

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, together with his doctoral students Xuehua Zhang and Chami Amarasinghe, and technician Paula Parks, attended the Joint American Phytopathological Society and Canadian Phytopathological Society (APS-CPS) Conference held in Minneapolis, MN, from August 8-13. Dilantha and his students presented oral presentations. Xuehua received the Lamari Travel Award from Plant Science to travel to the conference. Chami was the recipient of a Canadian Phytopathological Society Travel Award to attend the conference.

Soil Science Ph.D. student Abolfazl Hajihassani made both an oral and a poster presentation at the joint APS-CPS meeting. Abolfazl received a Student
Travel Award from the American Phytopathology Society.

Fouad Daayf, Plant Science, was part of the Scientific Committee that organized the North American Late Blight Symposium in Minneapolis, August 8-9, as a satellite workshop of the joint APS-CPS meeting held August 9-13. He also chaired the Epidemiology session at that symposium.

Susan Arntfield, Food Science, attended the 6th International Food Legume Research Conference and 7th International Conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics (IFLRC VI &ICLGG VII) in Saskatoon from July 7-11, where she presented a paper on "Changes in Levels of Antioxidants and Selected Anti-nutritional Factors in Peas and Beans due to the Application of Heat".

Mingjue Wu, a Food Science M.Sc. student supervised by Susan Arntfield, presented a poster on "Texture and Sensory Properties of Corn Tortillas Fortified with Soy" at the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) Annual Meeting in New Orleans LA, USA from June 21-24.

The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology & Expo (IUFoST 2014) was held in Montreal from August 17-21 and was well attended by the members of the Food Science Department. This is only the second time this congress has been held in Canada.  Susan Arntfield and five of her graduate students made presentations.  Susan presented a poster on "Effects of location and variety on composition of legumes grown in Malawi – baseline information"; Ph.D. student Kun Wang had a poster on "Aqueous model studies of effect of neutral salts and pH on binding of selected volatile flavour mixtures to salt-extracted pea protein"; M.Sc. student Melissa Tiessen-Dyck had a poster on "Pea-protein volatile compound interactions: Effects of binding, heat and extraction on protein functionality"; M.Sc. student Yu Ming Chen had a poster on "Effects of micronization, ethanol treatment and alcalase hydrolysis on trypsin inhibitors and lipoxygenase activity in soybean flour"; M.Sc. student Mingjue Wu had a moderated poster presentation (poster with 5 minute oral presentation) on "Chemical and physical properties of corn tortillas fortified with soy"; and M.Sc. student Lan Shi had a moderated poster on "Interaction of flavor compounds with salt-extracted pinto bean protein isolate in an aqueous model system".

Martin Scanlon, Food Science and acting associate dean (research), presented the poster “Influence of Pretreatments on some Nutritional and Anti-nutritional Contents of Solanum macrocarpon (Gbagba)” on behalf of co-authors, including Soil Science's Wole Akinremi, at IUFoST 2014 in Montreal this week.  The poster covered some of the value-added research that is being conducted by the Faculty as part of the IDRC-sponsored project on utilization of indigenous vegetables in West Africa. Martin also presented a poster on the insights into processing performance of bread doughs that has been acquired from his work with John Page in the Department of Physics & Astronomy using ultrasonic techniques. 

Members from the departments of Food Science and Human Nutritional Sciences cheered on the Food Science team from the University of Manitoba as they battled their way through to the semi-finals of the CIFST Student Challenge. The team, made up of students Joy Zhang, Carly Isaak, Zhou Jin and Yao Wu, ended up falling to the University of Alberta, the team which went on to win the competition. The University of Manitoba team had been defending champions since 2012.

Peter Jones, director of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceutials, also presented at IUFoST 2014 in Montreal. Peter participated in the New Horizons for Fats and Oils in the Health Marketplace workshop, and presented “A New Perspective on the latest Nutrition Science on Fats and Oils.” The workshop looked into the relationship between health and wellness products and business performance, the science behind functional fatty acids, the latest nutrition science research on the impact of healthy oils on human health beyond cardiovascular disease, the latest innovations in the fatty acid marketplace and an analysis of the most recent consumer trend data. 

The Richardson Centre hosted agriculture ministers from across the country a few weeks ago as part of this year’s Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conference hosted by Manitoba. Check out the whole story and the photo gallery at

The Richardson Centre will host six members of Cigi Morocco Program on September 4. The program trains Moroccans (particularly woman and young adults) to further in their knowledge and technical expertise in pulses and durum. Participants will visit the Centre to learn about pulse-related research and discuss ideas for product development in Morocco and how pulses can be considered a functional food. Read more at


J L Tedford, A Rodas-González, A J Garmyn, J C Brooks, B J Johnson, J D Starkey, G O Clark, A J Derington, J A Collins, M F Miller. 2014. U. S. consumer perceptions of U.S. and Canadian beef quality grades. Journal of Animal Science 92:3685-3692.

Singh, B., Farenhorst, A., Gaultier, J., Pennock, D.J., Degenhardt, D. and McQueen, D.A.R. 2014. Soil characteristics and herbicide sorption coefficients in 140 soil profiles of two irregular undulating to hummocky terrains of western Canada. Geoderma 232‐234:107‐116.

Gao, X., Rajendran, N., Tenuta, M., Dunmola, A., and Burton, D. L. 2014. Greenhouse Gas Accumulation in the Soil Profile Is Not Always Related to Surface Emissions in a Prairie Pothole Agricultural Landscape. Soil Science Society of American Journal 78: 805‐817.

Xiao, J.,S.V. Ollinger, S. Frolking, G.C. Hurtt, D.Y. Hollinger, K.J. Davis, Y. Pan, X. Zhang, F. Deng, J. Chen, D.D. Baldocchi, B.E. Law, M.A. Arain, A.R. Desai, A.D. Richardson, G. Sun, B. Amiro, H. Margolis, L. Gu, R.L. Scott, P.D. Blanken, and A.E. Suyker. 2014. Data-driven diagnostics of terrestrial carbon dynamics over North America.  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 197: 142-157.

Tkachuk, V. L.; Krause, D. O.; Knox, N. C.; Hamm, A. C.; Zvomuya, F.; Ominski, K. H.; McAllister, T. A. 2014. Targeted 16S rRNA high‐throughput sequencing to characterize microbial communities during composting of livestock mortalities. Journal of Applied Microbiology 116(5):1181‐1194.


Karin Wittenberg, acting dean, was quoted in the article "Beef research money to back forage program" in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 21) about recently announced funding from the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster to support forage projects. Emma McGeough, Animal Science, will spearhead projects dealing with evaluation and utilization of novel annual and perennial forages for late-season and overwinter grazing. The projects will also offer training opportunities for five graduate students. Read it on page 3 at

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Drainage with a difference; irrigation included" in the Western Producer (August 21). David commented on the benefits of a combination of tile drainage and retention ponds. Read it on page 5 at

Paul Gregoire, M.Sc. student in Plant Science, was highlighted in the article "Volunteer canola impact on soybean yield calculated" in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 14) for his research into the economic threshold to spray volunteer canola in soybean fields. Paul's advisor is Rob Gulden, Plant Science. Read it on page 11 at

Michelle Carkner, M.Sc. student in Plant Science, was featured in the article "Evaluating soybean varieties for suitability in organic production systems"  in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 14) about her work on analyzing conventional non-GMO soybean varieties that are adapted to a shorter growing season. Michelle's advisor is Martin Entz, Plant Science. Read it on page 20 at

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Soil-sensing fertilizers among high-tech inputs on horizon" in the Western Producer (August 14). Mario talked about the evolution of enhanced fertilizer products and additives, including those developed in response to a wetter climate. Read it on page 4 at

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Too early to alter nitrogen guidelines" in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 7) about long-term studies into solid manure applications and their rate of nitrogen release. Read it on page 13 at

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was quoted in the article "Conservation and livestock can be a good mix" in the Manitoba Co-operator (July 31) on the benefits of mixed farming for soil conservation, nutrient management and human/animal health. He was also quoted in the article "Manure improves organic forage-grain crop production" in which he describes the experience of the long-term organic program at Glenlea Research Station which, at 23 years, is Canada’s oldest organic rotation study. Read the articles on pages 12 and 17 at

Martin was also quoted in Country Guide (July) in the article "Sustainability on the hoof" following his presentation to the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture held in Winnipeg in June. Martin encourages mixing up the grains-only production system with perennial forages and livestock. Read the whole article on page S-16 at

Brian Oleson, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in Country Guide (July) in the article "Where to next?" on predicting the future of agriculture. Brian says that medium term predictions have been relatively accurate but that there are always "black swan" events that are by definition unpredictable. Read the whole article on page 28 at

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press (July 11) in the article "Rain on 1M acres of farmland" -  Derek was also interviewed by Dan Looker, Business Editor, Successful Farming on the expansion of corn area in western Canada and by Angela Johnston with CBC regarding grain movement -

Don Petkau, Biosystems Engineering, was interviewed in the CAAR Communicator magazine (July) for the article "The Value of Precision". Don talks about the challenges - and advancements - of the rapidly developing field of precision agriculture. Read it at

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, participated in a marathon of 11 CBC interviews in early August, including Windsor ON, Sudbury ON, Winnipeg MB, Gander NL, Kamloops BC, Kelowna BC, Prince George BC, Regina SK, Vancouver BC, Fredericton NB, and Sydney, NS. She was talking about bug bites, including ticks, mosquitoes and even spiders.

Rob Currie, Entomology, is the star of a YouTube video on the U of M channel about bee stings. Rob bravely sacrifices his hand to show us how to remove a stinger and to debunk common "cures" for stings. A must-see video!


Alumni Bill Siemens (DipAg/59), Bob McNabb (BSA/69) and Don Kroeker (BSA/57) were inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame in July. Bill Siemens has provided leadership to the sugar beet and potato industries at the local, national and international level, and has been an active member of his community of Winkler. Bob has been a passionate soil conservationist, committed to zero-till and environmental farm planning both locally and abroad. Don was a potato industry leader, serving on numerous horticultural organizations and growing Kroeker Farms to become the largest potato producer in Canada.

Alumnus Charlie Froebe (DipAg/64) will be inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame (CAHF) in November at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. According to the CAHF, "Charlie championed the creation of Canada’s national canola farmer association, improving marketing options and cash flow for farmers. A farmer, early adopter and innovator, Charles and his brother were some of the first farmers to grow canola in Canada."

The Seed of the Year Scholarship, valued at $4000, is awarded to a student enrolled in plant breeding or genetics at a graduate or PhD level. One recipient will be selected from one of the following Western Canadian Universities: University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, or University of Saskatchewan.  Two applications will be submitted from each university for consideration.  One scholarship will be selected from the six submitted. Deadline is October 10, 2014. Get the application at

Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba once again invites you to join them as a volunteer at their upcoming Amazing Agriculture Adventure in Winnipeg September 16-18, at Glenlea Research Station/Farm & Food Discovery Centre and at Kelburn Farm.  This is a hands-on, interactive event geared to the Grades 4 and 5 Science curriculum. Over 1000 students move through 18 interactive stations covering a variety of agriculture topics. AITC-M will need classroom hosts each day to tour the students and teachers through the stations. In addition, they need volunteers to help at various stations, and to serve as kitchen helpers and as people movers. To volunteer, please contact Diane at (204) 471-9698 or before September 2.

U1 Orientation needs Meeter and Greeter volunteers to help welcome students and give directions to various homeroom locations on campus on the morning of Tuesday, September 2 or Wednesday, September 3. To register, visit or call 204-474-7383 to sign up by August 27.

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) offers teaching workshops on a variety of topics, intended for professional development in teaching and learning for sessional instructors, instructors, librarians, pre- and tenured faculty members. See the complete fall schedule at

Attention Grad Students - a list of workshops from the Faculty of Graduate Studies on a range of topics is now available. Some of these are eligible for CHET credits. All workshops are free. For the listing and to register, visit As well, CATL offers teaching workshops for grad students -

The Transport Institute is now taking registration for the Certificate in Logistics (fall courses). Forms and info available at

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, 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 > August 21, 2014