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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

February 16, 2016


February 16-19 is Reading Week on the University of Manitoba campus. The annual Info Days, an open house for high school students, runs Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18 with displays in University Centre and presentations by faculties all over campus. Friday, February 19 is SET Day, with programming aimed at high school students interested in science, engineering and technology. Please offer a warm welcome to any students you might see visiting our Faculty!

The Prairie Organics Conference: Think Whole Farm is being held at the University of Manitoba in the Agriculture Building on February 18 - 19.  This conference will provide in-depth information to help organic producers build their production and marketing skills.  This is your chance to connect with leading edge researchers, producers and organic buyers in the food services, retail and grain sectors. A tradeshow will allow you to connect with Certification Bodies, grain buyers, equipment and input providers.  For more information and to register for the conference please visit our website:

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Tuesday, February 23 in Room 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Dr. Stephen Peterson and Janice Martin with the Assiniboine Park Zoo Butterfly House will present "Management of butterfly gardens at Assiniboine Park Zoo: husbandry, research, and public engagement”. Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled "The effect of consumption of diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acid versus Western dietary fat on body composition" will be presented by Shatha Hammad on Tuesday, February 23 at 3:00 pm in 206 Human Ecology Building.

A Soil Science Seminar will be held Wednesday, February 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 346 Ellis Building. Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, will present  - topic TBA.

The sixth seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be held on Wednesday, February 24 at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Harold Aukema, Human Nutritional Sciences, will present “Dietary fat effects from a bioactive lipids point of view”.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

An Entomology Final Ph.D. Oral Examination will be held Thursday, February 25 at 1:00 pm in 339A University Centre. Tharshinidevy Nagalingam will present "“Effect of Lygus Bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae) on Field Beans in Manitoba”.

A Soil Science M.Sc. Thesis Defence will be held on Friday, February 26 at 9:30 am in Room 346 Ellis Building. Jolene Rutter will present “Measurement of greenhouse gas and nitrogen gases losses during cold weather composting of separated pig slurry solids”.

A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled "The acute effects of extruded pulse ingredients in snacks and cereals on glycemic response, appetite, and food intake in adults" will be presented by Alie Johnston on Tuesday, March 1 at 3:00 pm in 206 Human Ecology Building.

A special seminar hosted by the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment on Tuesday, March 1, at 3:30 pm in Carolyn Sifton Theatre, Rm 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Robin White, USDA Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences, Education and Literacy Initiative Post-Doctoral Scholar, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech, will present "Farm to fork considerations of animal protein products in the food system". Refreshements at 3:00 pm - All are welcome!


The University of Manitoba problem-solving competition Game Changer concluded last Thursday and the winning team included students from the Faculty. Team Nixed Foods which included Human Nutritional Sciences students Oluwaseyi Odhigbo, Ifeanyi Nwachukwu, Oribim Kingson along with Zara Usman, Economics, won the top prize of $10,000 for their food waste reduction solution. Read more at

In the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, Karlee Dyck from Human Nutritional Sciences is a wildcard contender in the finals. She will present her thesis "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Are pregnant women getting enough nutrients to reduce the risk?" on Thursday, February 25, at 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre at St. John's College. The public is invited to cheer on the challengers as they compete in the finals.

The six-month appointments of Jim House as Acting Head and Trust Beta as Acting Associate Head of the Department of Food Science began January 2016.

Kim Stefaniuk has joined the Dean's Office in the role of Confidential Secretary to the Dean.  Kim will provide confidential support to the Dean and Dean’s Office staff in administrative, academic, research and communication related matters. She has been with the University of Manitoba for 13+ years and brings to the role a strong skill set and valuable experience in the University community.  She worked previously as the confidential assistant to the Executive Director in the Marketing Communications Office (Public Affairs) and as a research marketing officer in Research Services.

Karin Wittenberg, Dean, presented her views on the future for animal agriculture at the annual Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, Manitoba Branch evening on February 8 with students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Karin and Myrna Grahn, Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, were pleased to host the federal AAFC Deputy Minister Andrea Lyons and Nathalie Leroux on February 9 at the Discovery Centre. The Minister was interested in the outcomes of federal investment into research and outreach facilities at the Glenlea Research Station.

At the Crop Connect conference in Winnipeg last week, Karin Wittenberg, Dean, and Brian Amiro, Soil Science, presented the Faculty`s Green Paper, entitled "Moving Toward Prairie Agriculture 2050". Don Flaten, Soil Science, presented “4R Fertilizer Roulette” (with John Heard and Marla Riekman, MAFRD) and “Agriculture Phosphorous in Manitoba…Shortage or Glut”.  Greg Bartley, M.Sc. student in Plant Science, presented "On-Farm Research" (with Kristen Podolsky, MAFRD), and "Corn: From Seed to Trash and What Comes After" with Magda Rogalsky, Soil Science M.Sc. student and Patrick Walther, Plant Science M.Sc. student.

Several representatives of the faculty, including Communications Office Crystal Jorgenson and Karin Wittenberg joined Agriculture in the Classroom and Canola Growers representatives at the Prairie Theatre Exchange for the opening of "Seeds" on February 11. The play portrays the Percy Schmeiser case and was written to challenge our thinking about the science and emotion of genetically modified crops.  The cast was amazing to watch, and included characterizations of two University of Manitoba researchers.

Elnaz Azad, Ph.D. student with Ehsan Khafipour and Tim McAllister, received the International Stockmen’s Educational Foundation Travel Fellowship to attend the International Livestock Congress and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo which will be held in Houston, TX, February 29-March 4.

A research study by Peris Munyaka, PhD student with Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, and Jean-Eric Ghia, Immunology, was selected as one of the top 2015 research discoveries at University of Manitoba. The article was published in December issue of PLoS One:  Antepartum antibiotic treatment increases offspring susceptibility to experimental colitis: a role of the gut microbiota. PLOS One 10(11): e0142536. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0142536.

Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, presented at seminar series of the Endocrine and Metabolic Disease section of the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology on February 3. His topic was "Contribution of gut microbiome and metabolome to health and disease – toward a personalized lifestyle nutrition and medicine".

Ehsan also presented at the Manitoba Swine Seminar on February 4. His topic was "PEDv Survivability and Infectivity in Manure".

Getahun Legesse and Kristine Tapley, Animal Science, made two oral and one poster presentations during the Manitoba Beef and Forage Week last month at three locations in Manitoba on the topic of the environmental footprint of the Canadian beef production.

Getahun Legesse, Animal Science, was an invited speaker at the Saskatchewan’s Premier Beef Event which took place in Saskatoon January 20-22. Getahun's talk was titled "Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Beef Cattle in Canada".

The Manitoba Soil Science Society conference and meeting last week was a great success. In addition to our Manitoba contributors, there was a large contingent of faculty and students from North Dakota State University who attended as invited speakers and presenters. Dr. Keith Bellingham from Stevens Water Monitoring Inc. ran a concurrent workshop on soil moisture monitoring on Thursday afternoon. The AGM revealed that MSSS is running very well with a solid financial footing to carry the organization into its 60th year. The student participants were very impressive with excellent oral and poster presentations. The student award winners were as follows: 1st place oral $300 - Heather Dose (NDSU); 2nd place oral $200 - Amanda Taylor (UM); 1st place poster $300 - Maria Breker (NDSU); 2nd place poster tie - $200 each - Ashley Soloway (UM) and Samantha Ritter (NDSU).

Sirajum Munira (Rumi), Soil Science graduate student, has been awarded the Soils and Crops Graduate Student Travel award this year. The Soils and Crops conference will be held in Saskatoon in March. She will be making an oral presentation entitled “Glyphosate retention and phosphorus adsorption-maximum in Prairie soils”.


Hwang, T., Ndolo, V.U., Katundu, M.,  Nyirenda, B., Bezner-Kerr, R.,  Arntfield, S., Beta, T. 2016. Provitamin A potential of landrace orange maize variety (Zea mays L.) grown in different geographical locations of central Malawi. Food Chemistry 196:1315–1324.

Koiter, A.J., Owens, P.N., Petticrew, E.L., Lobb, D.A. 2015. The role of gravel channel beds on the particle size and organic matter selectivity of transported fine-grained sediment: implications for sediment fingerprinting and biogeochemical flux research. Journal of Soils and Sediments: 2174-2188.

Munyaka PM, Bernstein CN, Eissa N, Khafipour E‡, and Ghia JE‡. 2015. Antepartum antibiotic treatment increases offspring susceptibility to experimental colitis: a role of the gut microbiota. PLOS One 10(11): e0142536. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0142536.

Wang Y, Ames NP‡, Tun HM, Jones PJ, and Khafipour E‡. 2016. High molecular weight barley β-glucan alters gut microbiota toward reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Front. Microbiol. 7:129.doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00129.

Li S, Yoon I, Scott M, Khafipour E, and Plaizier JC†. 2016. Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product and subacute ruminal acidosis on production, inflammation, and fermentation in the rumen and hindgut of dairy cows. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 211:50-60.

Ige, D. V., Sayem, S. M. and Akinremi, O. O. 2015. Nitrogen mineralization in beef- and pig-manure-amended soils measured using anion resin method. Can. J. Soil Sci. 95: 305-319.

Legesse, G., Beauchemin, K.A., Ominski, K.H., McGeough, E.J., Kroebel, R., MacDonald, D., Little, S.M. and McAllister, T.A., 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian beef production in 1981 as compared with 2011. Animal Production Science DOI:

Liban., S.H., Peng, G. Kutcher., R., Fernando, W.G.D. 2016. Race structure and frequency of avirulence genes in the western Canadian Leptosphaeria maculans pathogen population Plant Pathology Doi: 10.1111/ppa.12489


Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, was interviewed on Farmscape Online following his talk in Manitoba Swine Seminar. To hear the interview, visit and check for February 5, "PED Survives Long Periods in Stored Manure But Infectivity Dissipates".

Jordan Bannerman and Barb Sharanowski, Entomology, were interviewed on Focus Manitoba, Global TV in the story "Why some researchers at University of Manitoba are getting up close and personal with insects" -

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, has been inundated with media requests on mosquito transmission of the Zika virus. In addition to 11 CBC Radio interviews for morning shows across the country on mosquito eradication and GM mosquitoes, she was also on Radio-Canada Première, L'Actuel, Radio-Canada Réseau de l'Information with Michel Saba, Le National, CBC Television News Vancouver, via Skype, Radio-Canada Première, with Arnaud Decroix, Les samedis du monde, CKDM 730 AM Dauphin Radio and finally, she was interviewed by Canadian Living magazine on insect bite prevention for the June issue.  Read more at

Rob Gulden, Plant Science, was quoted in the article "Keeping volunteer canola out of soybeans" in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 11) - read it on page 22 at

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "High-disturbance seeding can be as erosive as a plow" in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 11) -

David was quoted in the article "Buffer strips are not that effecient" in Grainews (February 9) - read it on page 8 at

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was quoted in the article "A race against evolving blackleg" in Grainews (February 9) - read it on page 10 at

Colin Penner, School of Agriculture, was featured in the article "Leaders needed — but harder to find" in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 4) -

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article "Seed-placed phosphorus ineffective on soy: study" in the Western Producer (February 11) -

Getahun Legesse and Kristine Tapley, Animal Science, were interviewed for a Golden West Radio (January 11)  story on the carbon footprint of Canadian beef -

Getahun was also quoted in the January issue of the Canadian Cattlemen article entitled “The environmental hoofprint of Canada’s beef industry” -


The Endowment Fund Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is once again seeking proposals from alumni, students, and academic and support staff of the Faculty for special projects requiring funding. The Endowment Fund, generously supported by alumni, students and staff of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, has raised over $3.8 million to date. The interest generated by this fund is used to provide teaching and other resources for the Faculty. This year, approximately $190,000 is available to fund a variety of faculty-directed projects, from teaching and research projects to extension and student recruitment activities. The fund has also been allocated for scholarships, visiting scientists and lecturers, field trips, and library acquisitions. If you have a project consistent with the academic goals of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and you are an alumni, student or staff member, please submit an application via email to Heather Wiebe at by NOON Monday, February 29, 2016. Applications are available online at:

Lights, Camera, Science Action! - NSERC is once again inviting you to submit a 60-second video showcasing science and engineering on our campus for a chance to win one of 15 cash prizes of $3,000. Read more: Contest closes: February 25, 2016 at 4:59 p.m. (EST).

AG e-news > February 16, 2016