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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

May 21, 2015


A Soil Science Seminar will be held Thursday, May 21, at 12:00 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Dr. Xiying Hao, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre will present “Response of greenhouse gas emission to cattle grazing practices on a rough fescue grassland and mixed grass prairies”.

A Soil Science M.Sc. Thesis Defense will be held Friday, May 22, at 10:00 am in Room 346 Ellis Building, when Jorden Laskosky will present “Productivity and greenhouse gas emissions from longterm stockpiled soils treated with organic amendments”.

The University of Manitoba NGS Symposium “Improving Genomics through Collaboration and Innovation” will be held Wednesday, May 27 from 1 pm to 4:30 pm in 207 Buller Building. The objective of this symposium is to provide an overview of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), and a forum to discuss the science, applications, instrumentation, methods, and best practices in NGS. Among the invited speakers are David Levin, Biosystems Engineering, on “Comparative Genomics of Pseudomonas putida, and ‘Omics of PHA Synthesis by P. putida LS46” and Hooman Derakhshani, Ph.D. student with Ehsan Khafipour’s lab in Animal Science, on “Composition and function of the gut microbiome”. There is no fee to attend (drinks and snacks will be served), however registration is required. Please register at Questions, please contact Jeffrey Seitz

As part of the CCARM Food for Thought lecture series, Dr. Dan Ramdath, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Guelph Food Research Centre, will give a talk at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 27 in the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium, St. Boniface Hospital Research, 351 Taché Avenue, on “Human clinical trials to substantiate health claims for soy and lentils: Influence of processing”. Everyone is invited to attend.

CIHR Café Scientifique presents “Pulse of the Prairies: There is more to the local Manitoban diet than its grain fields!” on Wednesday, May 27, 7:00-8:30 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue. While Manitoba is well known for its grain fields, research shows there are health and economic benefits to increased consumption of local functional foods, including canola oil, flaxseed, and pulses. How healthy is the Manitoban diet? Are there locally grown “super foods”? Join us to hear what the experts have to say and share your thoughts. Featuring moderator Catherine Field, University of Alberta, and speakers  Paul Fieldhouse, Manitoba Health, Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, and Lee Anne Murphy, Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc. This free event is presented by the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Space is limited. RSVP to

The 2015 Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Conference will once again be held in Winnipeg, MB, from May 28-30.  The conference website is located at  A pre-conference workshop on May 28 entitled “Trainees in Nutrition Symposium” would be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students, with a program focused on professional skills development and excellent speakers. The cost is heavily subsidized at $50, and includes breaks and lunches, plus a networking session with local and national industry, government and NGO representatives. Learn more at Also of special note is "Lipid Nutrition and Metabolism in Human Health", a post-conference workshop to be held at the University of Manitoba May 31-June 1. Participants will explore the relationships between lipid nutrition, lipid metabolism, and human health.   For complete details visit

The second annual University of Manitoba Water Rights Conference will be held Monday, June 1, at Robson Hall. This event is organized by the H2O science and engineering training program ( and the right to clean water in First Nations (  Registration is open to students and professors involved with First Nations water research, as well as First Nation community partners and industry representatives who are interested in this research. Register now:

It's time once again for Campus Beautification Day on Thursday, June 4 beginning at 9 am and continuing throughout the day (rain date is June 5). If you can, please volunteer some time to help make our campus beautiful, meet and have fun with co-workers and maybe win some prizes. Refreshments and lunch beginning at 11:30 on the Curry Place Walkway for all volunteers. Great door prizes include the grand prize of two airline tickets good for travel anywhere WestJet flies in Canada and the contiguous United States. There will be general spring cleanup, raking, weeding, and planting flowers. There will be some extra gardening tools available, but it would be helpful if you could bring your work gloves, spades and rakes (if you have), and wear suitable footwear. Talk to your department office for more information.

Beginning Monday, June 8, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be hosted at Investors Group Field. Staff will not be required to move their vehicles prior to 4:30 pm on FIFA event days. However after 4:30 on FIFA event days the full Event Day Parking Plan will go in to effect. Communication regarding FIFA event parking has been given to student parkers when permits were purchased. If students permit holders have questions please contact Parking Services. For visitors, casual paid parking in U lot and SD lot will be closed for FIFA event days. All other casual paid parking options will be available prior to 4:30 pm on FIFA event days. After 4:30 pm on FIFA event days, casual paid parking options will be available as per the regular Event Day Parking Plan. Full details:

The Canadian Land Reclamation Association/ Association Canadienne de Réhabilitation des Sites Dégradés (CLRA/ACRSD) and Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) invite you to the 2015 CLRA/MSSS Joint Conference June 15-18 at the Radisson Winnipeg Downtown. Join them to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CLRA/ACRSD and the International Year of Soils. Full details at

The 2015 Manitoba Crop Diagnostic School will be held July 7-9 and July 14-16 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm near Carman.  New this year is Farmers’ Day on July 17. The Crop Diagnostic School is designed to refine the diagnostic skills of agronomists and producers involved in field scouting and assessing crop health. For more information or to register, please call 204-745-5663 or visit


The annual Students' Teacher Recognition Reception gives outstanding graduating students an opportunity to honour teachers who have made important contributions to their education. Recognizing that academic growth and development occurs over many years, the selected students are asked to select two teachers: one from their Kindergarten to Grade 12 years, and one from their years at the University of Manitoba. The Faculty nominated Agribusiness student Addison Cullen who recognized Jared Carlberg, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics. The School of Agriculture nominated Diploma student Michael Wilton and he recognized Brian Oleson, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics.  You can check out photos of them at

Kristine Blair, Animal Science M.Sc. student, received first place in the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) Grad Student Oral Competition held at the CSAS Annual Meeting in Ottawa May 6-7. Kristine’s presentation was entitled “Enteric methane produced by beef cattle as affected by dietary crude protein of forage diets fed during extreme cold”. She received $250 for the first place prize.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was a keynote speaker and session chair at the recently concluded 4th Asian Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) Conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dilantha's presentation was titled "Molecular interactions of phyllosphere microbes: Can we exploit them for biocontrol, PGPR activity and crop sustainability".

Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, attended the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) held in Ottawa May 5-7. He presented results of his research on environmental sustainability of dairy farms. He also participated in meetings of the CSAS executive and the CSAS AGM. Subsequently, Kees travelled to China to give an invited presentation on his research on ruminal acidosis in dairy cows at the Fourth International Symposium on Dairy Cow Nutrition and Milk Quality organized by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the American Dairy Science Association held in Beijing from May 9-11. Following this, he participated in a workshop on “Agroforestry and Sustainable Animal Science” organized by CAAS and International Center for Research in Agroforestry held in Beijing May 12-13. On May 14 and 15, Kees gave presentations on improving gut health in dairy cows and workshops on scientific writing in English at the Northeast Agriculture University in Harbin, the Heilongjiang Academy of Agriculture Sciences in Harbin, and the Heilongjiang Bayi Agriculture University in Daqing.

Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, was invited as an external advisor to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC) advisory committee meeting held during April 23-24. The MCRC is funded by the National Institute of Health and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Ehsan met with the project investigators and internal advisors to discuss/provide input on the ongoing research at UAB on immunity and gut microbiota in juveniles and adults with arthritis.

Michael Eskin, Human Nutritional Sciences, was an invited speaker at the 106th American Oil Chemists' (AOCS) Annual Meeting in Orlando earlier this month. He spoke on the role of an academic mentor in the session "Challenges and Rewards of the Mentoring Relationship in Academia and Industry."  Michael also presented the invited talk “Challenges in the Commercialization of New Antioxidants: Canolol from Canola Meal” (Usha Thiyam-Holländer, Curtis Rempel and Michael Eskin). A poster titled "Enzymatic glycerolysis under supercritical carbon dioxide conditions for producing a diacylglycerol (DAG)-enriched oil" was also presented at the same AOCS conference by Nazanin Vafei, a Ph.D student in the Department of Food Science co-authored with Martin Scanlon, Peter Jones, Curtis Rempel and Michael Eskin.

Amy Goulet, Human Nutritional Sciences M.Sc. student, was selected by the Winnipeg Foundation to attend Elevate 150, a community leadership conference in Banff, Alberta May 5-10.  Amy was one of 75 attendees between 18 and 30 from all around the world who assembled to discuss and learn how to do the most good in their communities. Immediately after, Amy attended the Community Foundations of Canada Conference in Calgary, where she had a chance to learn about the important role that community foundations play in communities across Canada.  These events will help Amy with her community-based Master’s research in newcomer food security.  As a bonus Amy got to meet Chris Hadfield!

Manitoba Schools Science Symposium was held at the U of M Max Bell Centre again this year April 24-26. Members of CISFT-MB judge a number of sponsored categories and the winner of the Department of Food Science Prize was Clarissa Nitafan, Grade 8, Holy Ghost School. Her project, “Garlic Untold: The Efficacy of Garlic in Fighting Bacteria” was very well organized, according to the judges. She used microplate and petri-dish technique to test the efficacy of fresh garlic – comparing it with garlic extract and Amoxicillin to inhibit growth of E. coli. (Clarissa is the daughter of Nonato in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and she is also one of the faces of the Farm & Food Discovery Centre marketing campaign!).

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped out at Science Rendezvous on May 9 - Ahmed Lasisi, Balachandar Jayaraman, Mayowa Adelekun, Lucy Lu, Mei Ding and Fei Wang. It was a busy and fun day for all involved!

The Faculty Seminars archive has been updated to include recent presentations by Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, and  JoAnne Buth, Cigi. Check it out at


Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed by CTV news this week about the recent WTO panel ruling on US Country of Origin Labeling. You can watch the piece at

Harry Sapirstein, Food Science, and Paul Bullock, Soil Science were featured in the article “Researchers studying grain quality in new marketing environment” in the Western Producer (May 14). Read it at

Joyce Slater, Human Nutritional Sciences, has been consulting with the Manitoba Women’s Institute on a food literacy project, as highlighted in the article “Women’s Institute focuses on food literacy” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 7). Read the article at

Emma McGeough, Animal Science, was highlighted in the article “Irish forage specialist brings research expertise to Canada” in Canadian Cattleman (May 18). Read it on page 9 at

The Farm Safety work being done by the School of Agriculture’s Colin Penner, Alysa McIntosh and Thea Green was featured on the Safe Manitoba website.  The Glenlea Safety Project is featured here - and the farm safety curriculum project is at

Rob Currie, Entomology, was interviewed in a CBC News story on urban beekeeping. More at

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, has been interviewed by various media about tick season including on CBC Information Radio on May 15 and l'Actuel (Radio-Canada Première) on May 13.  Thanks to social media links to Kateryn’s YouTube video on the proper way to remove a tick, the video views have skyrocketed to over 255,000, making it the second most viewed video on the University of Manitoba YouTube channel!  Watch it at

Victoria Ndolo, Food Science Ph.D. student, was featured on UM Today as part of a Faculty of Graduate Studies CANDID profile.  Read the whole piece at

Valery Agbor, Biosystems Engineering Ph.D. student, was profiled for his leadership in the student and wider community in the University of Manitoba alumni magazine On Manitoba. Read it on page 30 at

Jim House, Human Nutritional Sciences, was interviewed on Farmscape on “Adequate Nutrition Saves on Health Care Costs”. Read it or listen to it at

Kris Dick, Biosystems Engineering, and his team of students were featured in the article “From Design to Difference” about the El Pueblo Creciente (or The Growing Village) project in Honduras, in the University of Manitoba publication TeachingLife. Read the story on page 5 at


The Agriculture Building summer hours (including the library study hall) are Monday to Friday - 7:30 am to 6:30 pm, and weekends and holidays – closed. The fall and winter building hours will resume on Tuesday, September 8 after Labour Day weekend.

Discovery Centre Road Access - Please note that there is construction happening along Hwy 75 that is affecting access to the Farm & Food Discovery Centre. In several sections, traffic is slowed to 60 km/hr and main access to the Centre from the highway has been blocked for the summer. All traffic must now enter using the East gravel service road that runs parallel to the highway. Access to the service road is either 3 km before the Discovery Centre at Hwy 210 (turn-off to St. Adolphe) or 2 km past the Discovery Centre turn-off at the town of Glenlea. You wish to be on the service road that runs to the east (left-hand side, while driving south). The Discovery Centre lane is marked by two flag poles and a large brown sign at the highway. Please do not hesitate to contact Pam or Siobhan at 204-883-2524 should you require further directions or assistance during your commute.

The Canadian Dairy Commission Scholarship is available for students enrolled full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba in either the M.Sc. or Ph.D. program who are conducting research in the areas of agricultural economics and policy, food science, or animal science and whose thesis project has application to the dairy industry. Full-time M.Sc. students will be eligible to receive $20,000 per years for a maximum of two years and full-time Ph.D. students will be eligible to receive $30,000 per years for a maximum of two years. Deadline to apply is 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Read full details and download application form at

Mitacs Globalink Research Internships 2016 call for projects is now open. This initiative pairs professors in Canada with international undergrads for 12-week internships in the summer of 2016. Faculty in all disciplines can preview and recruit potential graduate students, selected competitively from a pool of thousands of applicants. The initiative enables faculty to work with exceptional undergrads from Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Vietnam. It provides support for travel, visa, accommodation, and living expenses and encourages students to return for graduate studies with funding from the Globalink Graduate Fellowship. Please submit your research projects – as many as you identify – by June 18, 2015 at 5pm PDT at For your reference, this summer, University of Manitoba is hosting 26 students through Mitacs Globalink Research Internships.

4-H Canada is putting forward a request for proposals seeking an academic and/or institutional partner to co-host a new 4-H program being implemented this year. As part of our Science and Technology Leadership Development Pillar, 4-H will be taking part in the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) by hosting its own 4-H National Science Fair stream. As such, we are seeking a venue with the capacity to co-host the 4-H Science Fair. The ideal partner will provide value-added opportunities for learning and sharing knowledge related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for middle and high-school aged 4-H members (12-18 year olds). Deadline for submissions is June 15, 2015. For more information, contact Erin Smith, Program Director, 4-H Canada

AG e-news > May 21, 2015