the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences staff newsletter

staff.matters is looking for a new name!  This e-newsletter (which began in 2002!) has grown beyond the original "staff" news and covers a broad range of information that relates to the Faculty and our partners.  If you have a great idea for a new name for us, we'd love to hear it.  Let us know before March 30 (via an email reply) and we'll announce our new moniker in April.

March 7, 2012


An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, March 8 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Roxanne Lewko, Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, will be presenting “The Pulse and Soybean Industry in Manitoba: Where the University of Manitoba Fits In”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in atrium.

The Watershed Systems Research Program is co-sponsoring a public lecture entitled “Water Futures and the Perfect Storm: Science and management challenges for the Canadian Prairies” presented by Dr. Howard Wheater, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, on Monday, March 12 at 7:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Wheater will discuss how global water issues, such as unsustainable use of water and degrading water quality, are reflected in contemporary challenges for the Canadian prairies, and how these challenges translate into an agenda for research. All are welcome, free admission.

FASO invites students and staff to attend a special GoAg! seminar on Tuesday, March 13 at 2:30 pm, sponsored by Farm Credit Canada. Brenda Schoepp will be doing a presentation on "The Future of The Ag Industry" in Room 130 Agriculture Building.  Brenda, a 2012 Nuffield Scholar, owns and publishes BEEFLINK, a highly regarded national weekly newsletter on the strategies of beef and beef cattle marketing. Her column "Straight from the Hip" is featured in national and provincial newspapers and magazines. Brenda has also developed the leadership series YouLead! for youth and new entrants into agriculture, is program advisory for educational programs at the college and University level and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence (WISE).

As part of the Human Nutritional Sciences graduate seminar series, on Tuesday, March 13 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in Room 206 Human Ecology Building, Shoug Mohamed, Human Nutritional Sciences, will present "The Effects of Lecithin Availability during Development on Sphingolipid Metabolism in Neural Cells and Memory Function".  All are welcome to attend.

A Department of Food Science Graduate Seminar will be held on Wednesday, March 14 in Room 245 Ellis Building at 10:30 am. Melissa Tiessen-Dyck will be presenting "Characterization of Aroma Profiles in Protected Designation of Origin Cheeses".  The seminar is 30 minutes and is followed by a ten minute question period. 

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, March 15 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  James Frey, Natural Resources Institute, will be presenting “Understanding Adaptive Governance and Knowledge Co-Production in the Context of Coral Reef Resources in Bali, Indonesia”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in atrium.

A Department of Food Science Graduate Seminar will be held on Friday, March 16 in Room 245 Ellis Building at 10:30 am. Sally Diep will be presenting "Effects of Fat Replacers on Cake Eating Quality and Physical Properties".  The seminar is 30 minutes and is followed by a ten minute question period. 

Don't miss Discover Agriculture in the City, a free, three-day event featuring interactive displays and live presentations from key organizations in the agriculture industry that will take place March 16-18 downtown at the Forks Market. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, along with partner organizations, have developed this event for urban Canadians to explore and discover the important role agriculture plays in their lives. Come visit the Faculty booth and check out the Food Fight at the Forks featuring our very own food product development students, enjoy cooking demos and many other activities. For more information, visit

MAFRI has organized a workshop on "Opportunities in the Organic Marketplace" featuring several outstanding speakers on international and domestic market opportunities for organic products to be held on Friday, March 16 at the Headingley Community Centre, 5353 Portage Avenue, Headingley, MB. These events are open to anyone, including current organic producers, processors, etc. as well as those who are just curious about the possibilities. Coffee/Registration: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Workshop: 9:00 - 3:30. Manitoba Organic Alliance Reception and AGM: beginning at 3:30. Workshop (lunch included): $20, MOA Reception/AGM: $20, Save $5 by registering for both. Pre-registration required by contacting or 204-239-3362.

A Department of Soil Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 20 in Room 346 Ellis Building at 12 noon.  Tek Sapkota, Ph.D. student, Soil Science, will be presenting "Effects of catch crop type and root depth on nitrogen leaching and yield of spring barley".  All are welcome to attend.

A Department of Food Science Graduate Seminar will be held on Wednesday, March 21 in Room 245 Ellis Building at 10:30 am. Kuuku Biney will be presenting "Effect of Freezing on Vitamin C of Fruit Products".  The seminar is 30 minutes and is followed by a ten minute question period. 

The fourth seminar in the Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics Seminar Series will be held on Wednesday, March 21, in Room 354 Agriculture Building. Stu Clark, senior policy advisor at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, will present “Food Assistance in a Volatile Global Commodity World – From Policy to Plate”. Stu will speak on his international work to promote the move from food aid to food assistance and the changes caused by the 2007/8 and 2010 Food Price Crises.  Included in this will be work to re-examine the role played by food reserves to improve food security and blunt pressure for national food autarky. Refreshments are served at 2:45 pm and the lecture will commence at 3:00 pm.

The sixth seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be held on Wednesday, March 21 in Room 130 Agriculture Building.  Gary Fulcher, Food Science, will be presenting "What's in Your Cereal Bowl? The Grains for Health Foundation".  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

A Manitoba Institute of Agrologists (MIA) Professional Development Event and Annual General Meeting Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 22. The event will begin in the morning with a variety of speakers/presentations, followed by a networking lunch, the MIA AGM, and more speakers. This is an excellent learning and networking opportunity so make sure you look at your calendar and save this date. The event will be held in Portage la Prairie at the Glesby Centre. Full program details will also be available shortly on their website at

The Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council's 16th Annual General Meeting, "Unlearn and Lead" will be held on Thursday, March 22 at the Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Guest speaker is Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Media, and there are also project presentations, including one from Rob Currie, Entomology, on behalf of the Manitoba Beekeepers' Association. The full AGM agenda and registration information can be found at

Plan to attend World Water Day on Thursday, March 22 at the Holiday Inn South, 1330 Pembina Hwy. There will be a presentation entitled "Water and Food Security: At Home and Abroad" at 12:00 noon featuring guest speaker Annemieke Farenhorst, NSERC Chair of Women in Science and Engineering - Prairie Region. Cost is $15.00 CWRA and SYP Members; $20.00 Non-Members. To register, contact, registration deadline noon on March 16.

The Bendelow Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Department of Plant Science, will be held on Thursday, March 22 at 3:30 PM.  Dr. Craig Pearson of the University of Melbourne's Sustainable Society Institute will present the lecture which is entitled "Changing Agriculture to Save the World".  Join us at 3 PM in the Ag atrium for refreshments before the lecture. Dr. Pearson's areas of technical expertise include agricultural and environmental policy, grassland agronomy, cropping systems, sustainability, city greenbelt policy and urban agriculture. Dr. Pearson has worked in 16 countries including Canada, where he was Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph. Dr. Pearson believes that the world needs saving, and that agriculture can and should change to make a difference for global sustainability. Dr. Pearson will bring his blend of vision, strong technical expertise, and good old Australian pragmatism to his message.

Dr. Pearson will also take part in a round table panel on Friday, March 23, at 10 am in Room 218 Plant Science. The panel will discuss "Urban Agriculture: Blurring the Urban-Rural Divide."

A Department of Food Science Graduate Seminar will be held on Friday, March 23 in Room 245 Ellis Building at 10:30 am. Maryam Shamloo will be presenting "Beer Haze: Its Nature, Formation and Prevention".  The seminar is 30 minutes and is followed by a ten minute question period.

The U of M Plant Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) will host the 28th Annual Plant Science Graduate Student Symposium (PSGSS) on March 23-24 right here in Winnipeg.  This two-day event is designed to bring graduate students together from across the border Universities and expose them to new plant science research initiatives taking place in other regions.  Students from the University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University take part in the PSGSS which provides professional development, including oral presentations, keynote lectures, banquet and awards and numerous networking and social activities.  To learn more, and to download registration and abstract forms visit and click on the conference link.

A Public Seminar will be held Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 pm, presented by Gary Fulcher, Food Science, on the topic "What's in Your Cereal Bowl? Part 2". It will be held in the Louis Riel Library conference room, 1168 Dakota Street. There will be refreshments - the event and parking are free and everyone is most welcome!

Join us for the premiere screening of "Drive for Free: The Alternative Fuel Revolution", a made-in-Manitoba documentary film exploring the use of and the research into alternative fuel sources in Manitoba, tracing a range of approaches from the grass roots individual endeavors to the high-tech research conducted at the University of Manitoba by David Levin, Biosystems Engineering and Richard Sparling, Microbiology.  The screening will happen on Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 pm in the Robert Schultz Theatre,172 St. John’s College. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 pm.

Attention Gardeners - The 5th Annual Gardening Saturday will be held March 31 from 9 am - 4 pm at the Canadian Mennonite University North Campus. This year's event features an exciting and informative lineup of workshops and guest speakers, a Tradeshow Area featuring vendor displays and information booths, as well as delicious food in our Eat Local Grow Local Food Market. Learn more at


Kelvin Friesen, Bonnie Schott, Samantha Jonk and Mark Guenther, were awarded the 2011-2012 CIBC Agricultural Scholarships for Agribusiness undergraduates. A reception was held for them by the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics on February 17 which included Scott Preston, Director & Team Leader, CIBC Commercial Banking, Randy James and Quinn Friesen, both Agricultural Banking Specialists. Since 2003 there have been 30 CIBC Agricultural Scholarships, valued at over $80,000, awarded to students of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences in recognition of the recipients’ academic excellence and community involvement, both on and off the campus. 

Five students from the graduate and undergraduate levels of soil science and environmental studies recently participated in the Invitational Drought Tournament in Saskatoon, SK From March 1-2. Coached by Jay Anderson, Rotimi Ojo, Caolyn Baldwin, Jen Trach, Carmen Anseeuw and (AAFC) Amanda Taylor competed in event, which is part Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Extreme Climate Events Preparedness and Adaptation Project. Given a fictitious watershed, teams from universities across Western Canada developed and presented adaptation strategies under time constraint, and voted upon which they thought would mitigate the drought's impact the most. The results of the event will help AAFC further develop the game for varying applications, and to understand the decision making processes groups use when debating with such scenarios.

Greg Blank and Arnie Hydamaka, Food Science, spent time in late February at several Chinese universities in support of the Faculty’s International Co-operation Agreements. Presentations were given at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan and Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing, in promotion of the 2 plus 2 programs. Meetings were also held at China Agricultural University (Beijing) and Wuhan University in support of University of Manitoba initiatives. At Hong Kong University, Greg delivered a lecture on Food Safety, and Arnie spoke about the super fruit potential in both China and Canada.

Kris Dick, Biosystems Engineering, is part of a research team from the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg researching healthy affordable housing for people living in Canada's North.  The team received $475,050 from the Collaborative Health Research Projects program to develop a protocol for Northern Manitoba First Nations housing to meet acceptable healthy and sustainable housing standards.  This will be done by studying the link between housing conditions and health.

Kris Dick traveled to Honduras during Reading Week to investigate the possibility of a student project in February 2013.

Digvir Jayas, Biosystems Engineering, attended the Engineers Canada Board meetings in Ottawa from February 21-24.  He then traveled to India to attend an International Symposium on Grain Storage.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, testified in front of the Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on February 6 in Ottawa on the marketing and trade programs delivered under Growing Forward. 

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, received a request from the French National Research Agency to review a proposal submitted to their "Biodiversity, evolution. ecology and agronomy" committee.

The Faculty along with Agriculture in the Classroom hosted a Grade 10 geography teachers workshop at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre on February 24. Presentations were made by Manitoba Pork and MAFRI representatives, and a highlight of the day was a panel presentation and Q & A with Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada, Selkirk area grain and oilseed farmer Brian Chorney and Minnneota beef farmer Karen Hill. The 22 teachers left with a package of resources for them to use in their classrooms. Many told us it was the best professional development they have ever had! A big thank you to Lorrie Koroscil for tours and student ambassadors Shanleigh Thomson and Amy Mangin for presenting careers station.


Martin Scanlon, acting Associate Dean (Research), provided The View from the West editorial in today's Winnipeg Free Press, entitled "Grain industry is changing constantly". Martin comments on "why there is plenty of optimism about agriculture in a post-CWB world".

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed by local French CBC on the possible change in location for Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI).

Jared Carlberg, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted fairly extensively in an article by Richard Kamchen entitled "At Any Price" in the March 1 issue of Country Guide. The article discussed trends in non-farmer ownership of farmland in Canada.

The recent Canadian Organic Science Conference was highlighted in the Manitoba Co-operator (March 1) front page story, "Science behind organic systems gains ground". The conference, hosted by the University of Manitoba, drew more than 160 participants.  In the same issue of the Co-operator, Martin Entz, Plant Science, contributed the article "Organic research achieving critical mass in science". Martin details the evolution of the modern organic agriculture movement and describes the work being done in organic research at the University of Manitoba.

Laurie Connor, Animal Science, was quoted in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 23) story "Stall-free pork coming to McDonald’s menu". Laurie commented that she is pleased to see McDonald’s intends to pursue a gradual and reasoned approach to having suppliers phase out sow gestation stalls.

Merv Pritchard, retired Associate Dean (Academic), and Laura Lazo, Student Services, were quoted in Grainews (March 5) in the article "Careers in agriculture". They talked about opportunities for students that pursue agricultural and food sciences.  In the same issue of Grainews, Michele Rogalsky, School of Agriculture, is quoted in "Jobs in primary agriculture", where she notes that farming is attracting a growing group of mid-life professionals looking for a lifestyle change.


2012 Faculty Endowment Fund Competition - The Endowment Fund Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is once again soliciting proposals for funding from academic and support staff, students, and alumni of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday, March 19, 2012. NO LATE APPLICATIONS CONSIDERED! Funding is available for a wide variety of worthy projects and programs consistent with the academic goals of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. The Endowment Fund has over $1.3 million donated to date from students, academic and support staff, alumni and the private sector, from which interest of approximately $101,000 is available this year to fund proposals. Visit the Endowment Fund site to read about projects which may qualify, past projects funded and to download an application form. If you have any questions, please contact Martin Scanlon at 474-6082.

Experience Research - A new initiative of the VP (research and international) office will provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to experience research this summer at the U of M. This experience will be open to qualified, full-time undergraduate students in all areas of study, regardless of citizenship. This new award provides you with an exciting opportunity to compete for 1 of up to 80 awards; to work full-time with a professor of your choice for 16 weeks, to get paid $6000, and to gain valuable experience in your field of interest. Deadline to apply is March 15. Get more details online.

Cam Brown Agricultural Scholarship for National and International Study - This newly created scholarship, named after alumnus Cam Brown, provides $2,500 to a full-time student in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences who wishes to enrich their learning with study outside Manitoba and/or Canada. Students must have completed year two of the degree program or year one of the diploma program. Applications are available in the Student Services Office. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2012.

Farmers Needed! Two years ago, a Participatory Wheat Breeding Program was created as a collaborative project between researchers of the University of Manitoba, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and farmers. The project continues this year and we are looking for more interested farmers. Farmers receive populations of wheat to grow on their farm using their management practices. During the growing season farmers and researchers make selections in the wheat plots, with the objective of breeding varieties adapted to local conditions and farmers' needs. If you are interesting in participating or learning more about the program, please call Gary (204) 474-6097 If you would like to participate this summer, please call by April 10.

Fiscal Year End - Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2012 is fast approaching. Staff are reminded to make all purchases, travel and business claims soon. For year-end deadlines please see Financial Services website.

Call for abstracts - Students are encouraged to submit abstracts for the Third Annual Functional Foods and Natural Health Products Graduate Student Symposium organized by the University of Manitoba and Université Laval graduate students in Human Nutritional Sciences, Food Science and Physiology, the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF), the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food in Health and Medicine (CCARM), and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN).  The symposium will be held at the University of Manitoba June 4-6. Please review the abstract guidelines and send your abstracts to by Tuesday, March 20 at 4:00 pm. Note: Symposium registration fees will be waived for all who submit an abstract, regardless of whether or not your abstract is selected for presentation.

Science Fair Judges Sought - The St. James-Assiniboia School Division Science Fair Committee is looking to recruit volunteers for its annual science fair to be held on Wednesday, April 4. The fair takes place at St. James – George Waters Schools conveniently located at 1900 Portage Avenue. We are looking for judges for early years (3-5) and secondary (6-12) as well as judges in both official languages. If you are interested in this opportunity please visit the their website. You can register at the “Judge Registration” page. Alternatively you can reach Jason Braun at

Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship - The Government of Canada is seeking applications from Canadian publicly funded institutions for the Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship. Scholarships are for student and research exchanges at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels. Canadian institutions must submit applications on behalf of candidate. Only Chilean citizens can apply to this scholarship program. Deadline: April 23, 2012. For more information, visit their website.

The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) competition supports the development of human capital and the next generation of leaders in the Americas while strengthening the linkages between postsecondary institutions in Canada and Latin America and the Caribbean. ELAP Scholarships provide students with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduateVisit  levels and provide up to $10,000 to cover transportation, living and other related expenses during the students' stay in Canada. Deadline: April 23, 2012, Visit the website for more info.

staff.matters is e-mailed bi-weekly on Wednesday afternoon to members and friends of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. The bi-weekly news deadline is Tuesdays at 4:00 pm. Email Crystal Jorgenson with your news or get in touch with your department staff.matters rep:

  • Agribusiness: Barb Hewitt 9259
  • Animal Science and Entomology: Mei Ding 6125
  • Biosystems Engineering: Debby Watson 6033
  • Food Science: Allison Cranmer 9621
  • Plant Science: Bev Godard 8563
  • Soil Science: Lynda Closson 8153

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