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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

December 18, 2015


There will be a Soil Science Ph.D. Thesis Defense on Tuesday, December 22, at 1:00 pm in Room 346 Ellis Building. Baljeet Singh will present “Methods to determine spatial variations of herbicide and estrogen sorption coefficients in undulating to hummocky terrains for pesticide fate modeling at the large scale”.

Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers invite you to the International Year of Pulses - Manitoba Launch on Wednesday, January 6 from Noon - 1 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue. Sample delicious foods made from high-fibre, high-protein pulses including beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. Learn why the United Nations sees pulses as key in eradicating hunger world-wide and addressing chronic health conditions including heart disease, obesity and diabetes. RSVP to

There will be a Soil Science M.Sc. Thesis Defense on Tuesday, January 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 346 Ellis Building. Oluwatoyin Obikoya will present “Changes in Soil Test Phosphorus Forms with Continuous Phosphorus Fertilizer Addition to Contrasting Prairie Soils”.

All Agricultural and Food Sciences academics are invited to attend an information session on the Agriculture Diploma Curriculum Review.  The session will be held on Wednesday January 13 at 3:30 pm in Room 130 Agriculture Building. Updates on our progress with this important initiative can also be found at

The Faculty is hosting an Alumni Reception on the first day of Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon on Tuesday, January 19. All grads and friends of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences are invited to the Curling Club Lounge in the Keystone Centre from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. It will be a great opportunity to visit with friends and colleagues, catch up on memories and learn what is new at the University! As a special feature, Dr. Paul Bullock, Head of the Department of Soil Science, will present Climate versus 'Agro'Climate: Weather that Matters on the Farm.  Cash bar, free snacks. For more info, contact

Registration is now open for AIC 2016 Disseminating Agricultural Research: Bridging the gap between idea and adoption taking place April 13-14, 2016 in Ottawa. AIC 2016 will tackle the next big challenge in agricultural research – how to bring research to those who need it most – producers, farmers, industry and consumers. To learn more and to register, visit


Terry Betker, farm management instructor in the School of Agriculture, received the Wilson Loree Award at the Agricultural Excellence Conference in Regina on November 26 in recognition of his visionary and leading-edge contribution to farm business management. Read more about Terry's prestigious honour here -

Cindy Grant, adjunct professor in the Department of Soil Science, has received the Science Award from the International Plant Nutrition Institute (for more information on the award, please go to:  Cindy recently retired from the Ag Canada Research Centre at Brandon, but she’s had a busy year receiving awards.  Last May, she received our Faculty’s Certificate of Merit, as an outstanding graduate of our Faculty.  Earlier in November, she received another international award, the Fertilizer Industry Round Table Award for outstanding achievements in research and extension centered on fertilizer technology and associated benefits to agricultural productivity and sustainability.

Laura Pesler, Human Nutritional Sciences student, was part of a University of Manitoba team that won the top prize at the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) held at the end of November. SIC is described as a kind of "Dragons' Den that brings people together from all sectors; non-profit, advocacy, business, faith and more to talk about the solutions they have for problems that matter". Laura is part of the UMangoes initiative aimed at dehydrating mangoes using low-cost technology and exporting them to Manitoba from El Salvador as a fair trade product. The project will start in the spring of 2016 as part of the ongoing relationship between the Service-Learning office at the U of M and rural communities in El Salvador.  Laura and her teammate Nancy Barajas, Asper School of Business, won $2000 cash and other services to assist with the project. Read more at

The Manitoba Agronomists Conference wrapped up another very successful event this week, selling out the on-site conference held December 16-17 at the University of Manitoba and with many others taking part via webcast for a total of over 400 attendees. Despite the stormy weather, participants enjoyed sessions and poster presentations around the theme "Agronomists and Big Data: Harnessing the Potential". Organizers are looking forward to 2016!

Fouad Daayf, Plant Science, organized the annual regional meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, which was attended by over 50 delegates. There were 22 oral presentations, 14 of them by graduate students from the Departments of Plant Science and Biological Sciences.

Martin Entz, Plant Science, presented a paper entitled "Ecological Approaches for Improving the Health of Prairie Soils" at the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health in Edmonton on December 10.

The research of Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, on the impact of BC's carbon tax on vehicle fuel use was presented at the Climate Economics Chair at Paris Dauphine University on December 11 by his co-author Vincent Thivierge.

Chad is also presenting his research on the impact of conservation easements on land values to the Farm Lands Ownership panel of the Manitoba Farm Industry Board on December 18.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented a seminar at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank titled: "CIDA and GAC: How Important was the Merger for Aid Allocation Decisions?" on December 10.

Ryan also attended the annual meeting of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium in Clearwater, Florida December 13-15 where he presented a paper titled "Governance of International Food Assistance" and participated in a round table discussion titled: "Trade and Well Being".

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, has been offered the Van Vliet Visiting Professorship at the University of Saskatchewan for the period of January 1 to July 1, 2016 corresponding to the last half of his research leave.  He will be working on a few projects including work on research institution, facilitated by his proximity to the Crop Development Centre and the Western Grain Research Fund.

Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, gave an update on dairy-related research at the University of Manitoba at the Manitoba Dairy Conference held in Winnipeg on December 2. At this conference Kees also received a check of $5,000 from the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba in support of the University of Manitoba Dairy Bursary.  

Kees also visited Canadian Science Publishing (CSP) in Ottawa on December 1, to enhance the transfer of the publishing of the Canadian Journal of Animal Science to CSP, and to strengthen the collaboration between this publisher and the Canadian Society of Animal Science.

Rob Currie, Entomology, was in Saskatoon for the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, Canadian Honey Council and Saskatchewan Beekeepers Association from November 30 to December 3.   Rob was invited to speak on the topic "Using thresholds with multiple stressors". His student Graham Parsons spoke on "Acaricide treatment treatment timing and its effects on overwintering honey bees".

The latest Faculty Seminar is now posted online - watch Kateryn Rochon's presentation on "The new neighbours suck! Changes in tick distribution in Manitoba and beyond" -


Start your new year off with a SciFinder Information Session!  SciFinder is the major information resource for locating chemical information for researchers in engineering, agriculture, food science, mineralogy and any other topic that relates to chemistry.  A SciFinder representative will be offering an information session on Thursday, January 7 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at Sciences and Technology Library computer lab, Machray Hall.  To register for one or both sessions by December 18, please fill in the registration form at:  The session will be divided into two sections:  Part 1:  General features of interest to all areas of chemistry (1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m) including Optimizing research topic searching; Ordering chemicals with ChemCATS; SciFinder for career planning; and Creating alerts:  using the Keep me posted feature. Part 2: Features of interest to organic chemists (1:45 - 2:30 p.m.) including Reaction searching; Structure searching; Markush structures (Searching for structures in patents); and Using SciPlanner.


Jarvie, H.P., Sharpley, A.N., Flaten, D., Kleinman, P.J.A., Jenkins, A., Simmons, T. 2015. The Pivotal Role of Phosphorus in a Resilient Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus. J. Environ. Qual. 44: 1049-1062.

D'Andreamatteo, C., Davison, K.M., Vanderkooy, P. (Nov, 2015). Defining research priorities for nutrition and mental health: Insights from dietetics practice. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. pp 1-8. (doi: 10.3148/cjdpr-2015-033)

Martin Scanlon, Associate Dean Research and Food Science, contributed Chapter 15. "Aerated Food Structure and Properties" to the book "Biofoams: Science and Applications of Bio-Based Cellular and Porous Materials" edited by Salvatore Iannace (National Research Council, Rome, Italy) and Chul B. Park (University of Toronto) that was published recently by CRC Press.  The book covers the fundamental principles of manufacturing biologically-based foams and covers a number of potential applications.  Examples include use of foamed biomaterials in tissue engineering, in the development of bionanocomposite and bio-based polyurethane foams for applications where light-weight energy absorption materials are required (e.g., renewable auto parts), and also in culinary and food processing applications (the focus of Martin's contribution).


Michele Rogalsky and Reg Dyck, School of Agriculture, along with some Diploma grads were featured in the article "Diploma program graduating young farmers with an eye for business management" in KAP's magazine Farmers Voice (Winter 2016). Read it on page 12 at

Rob Currie, Entomology, was interviewed by Amanda Coletta, to provide background for a CBC story on Emerald Ash Borer.


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition that challenges graduate students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience. Deadline is January 12 and the heats take place in February, with the final on February 25. First place prize is $5,000. You can find out more information at

Horse Production and Management is a non-credit course offered by the Department of Animal Science at the University of Manitoba. It can also be taken as a credit towards the Diploma in Agriculture.  This series of lectures deals with the principles of horse production and management, including anatomy and physiology, genetics, selection and breeding, reproductive management, nutrition, stable and pasture management, health and welfare, and equine behaviour. Guest speakers and a farm tour are included. The course runs Monday evenings from January 11 to March 21 and the fee is $189. Space is limited so register early! Visit

Certificate of Merit Call for Nominations - The Certificate of Merit is presented by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the School of Agriculture in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large. Each year two Certificates of Merit are presented, normally, one to a graduate of the Agriculture Diploma program, and one to a graduate of the Agriculture Degree program. Nominations are considered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Executive Committee and must be received no later than January 15, 2016. Nominations should include a letter from the nominator describing the nominee’s leadership contributions and service to the community.  Letters of support may also be included. More information including a list of previous recipients can be found at

Call for Papers - The Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) meets annually for a two-day conference to discuss topics pertaining to all aspects of soil science. The focus of the 2016 AGM, scheduled for February 4-5, is “Soil Health: To Measure is to Know”, but submissions on other topics in soil science will also be considered. Both oral and poster presentations are welcome. Graduate student presentations are judged with awards for the best oral and poster presentations. Please indicate if you are a graduate student when you submit your title. Abstracts are to include the Title, Authors, Author Affiliations and Abstract Text of less than 300 words. (Attention Graduate Students: You must put an asterisk after your name on the abstract to be considered for an award). Please submit the above information including your abstract as a .doc or .docx file by December 18, 2015 to, Fax: 204-474-7642 (Attention: MSSS), Mail: MSSS, c/o Department of Soil Science, 362 Ellis Bldg, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2.

Breastmilk Study - Breastmilk samples (50-100 ml) are needed for our nutrient (iron) in breastmilk study. The whole process will be completed in 30 minutes. This study will contribute to knowledge that may help prevent iron-deficiency anemia in infants and improve their health. If you participate, you may receive the pictures of the living cells in your own breast milk. A $20 gift card willbe provided as an honorarium. For more information, please contact Dr. James Friel 204-474-8682 or Chenxi Cai 204-230-7861

AG e-news > December 18, 2015