AIC Logo EnglishAIC Monthly Report

April 2012

In This Issue
Plan to Attend the 2012 Conference and AGM
Survey of Ag Science Professionals
Call for Nominations - AIC Board of Directors
AICF Douglas McRorie Memorial Scholarship 2012 Recipients
Kim Ominski - Innovation and Research for Sustainability

Plan to Attend the 2012 Conference and AGM


12 conference poster 



Survey of Ag Science Professionals 


Thanks to everyone who has completed the AIC survey of agricultural science professionals...we have had over 500 responses to date.


We are pleased to announce that Katie Wood, a PhD student at the University of Guelph, was selected in the random draw of respondents to the survey (to April 25) and wins $100.00. Katie is a member of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and her area of expertise is ruminant nutrition and physiology. Her research is focused on understanding molecular and metabolic factors that influence feed efficiency in beef cows - her group is looking at proteins that are involved in ion transport, protein turnover, cell proliferation, energy sensing and other factors that might impact maintenance energy requirements.  As a grad student, Katie was very pleased to win the cash prize!


The more people that respond to the survey, the better understanding we will have of the demographics, expertise, resources, and needs of ag science professionals across Canada. Therefore, if you have not already done so, please complete the survey soon. A second draw, for a complimentary one year membership in AIC, will take place on May 3rd.  


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Call for Nominations - AIC Board of Directors 


The call for nominations for the 2012-2013 Board of Directors was sent to members on April 27.    


AIC Directors share a commitment to the profession of scientific agriculture, agrology and the future of a thriving national agri-food sector in Canada.


Nominees must be AIC members, have demonstrated leadership ability, dedication to enhancing the science of agriculture and enhancing the profession of agrology at the national level, and knowledge and commitment to AIC's vision, mission and goals.


If you are interested in serving, or would like to recommend someone, please contact Richard Heck, Chair of the Nominating Committee. 


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AICF logoSix post graduate students in agricultural business, economics, finance and trade programs are the 2012 recipients of the Agricultural Institute of Canada Foundation (AICF) Douglas McRorie Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, which is made available through the support of the RBC Foundation, was established by the AICF in 1990 to honour past-president and agri-finance innovator Douglas McRorie, PAg, FAIC. Mr. McRorie served as Vice President of Agriculture for the Royal Bank of Canada and was a respected agricultural leader in Canada.


The following 2012 Douglas McRorie Memorial Scholarship recipients are recognized for their academic achievements, areas of study, leadership and career interests:


Ali Cagdas is a PhD student in Agricultural Economics at the University of Alberta. His research analyzes the effect of agricultural support programs on transfer efficiency (effectiveness of agricultural policy in raising the income of farmers) and on the input use decisions by farmers, then linking those decisions to land use practices in Canada and how those decisions affect the environment at the aggregate level.


Kevin Chang is completing his Master of Science in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. Mr. Chang's current research includes a comparison of the entry rates on supply and non-supply managed industries and evaluates the effectiveness of producer-supported new entry programs in the Ontario dairy industry with implications for credit institutions that choose to finance young farmers.     


Eskandar ElMarzouguiis working on his PhD in economics with a concentration on international agri-food trade and agricultural policies at Laval University. Mr. ElMarzougui's research interests are broad and he has contributed to papers including the relationship between the energy and agricultural sectors, as well as the implications of constraints, or no constraints, on agricultural support in agricultural tariff negotiations.


Shuang Li is a Master's student in Agricultural Economics at the University of Guelph who enjoys using economic tools to solve issues in agriculture. She is conducting her thesis research on efficiency assessment of the federal-provincial business risk management programs and focusing on their roles in helping Ontario field crop growers mitigate climate related risks.


Anya Lundy is a Master of Science student in Agricultural Economics at McGill University. Her research focuses on the development of the bison industry in the Province of Quebec and whether there are enough profits to cover costs and sustain long term growth.


Kelvin Tsang is studying for his Master of Science in Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics (FARE) at the University of Guelph. Through his research he seeks to develop new knowledge that will inform Ontario agri-businesses regarding the potential size of the market for local and regional organic foods in Ontario, produce a typology of Ontario consumers that hold growth potential in this market, and enhance Ontario agri-business' capacity to create value chains that capture the growth potential in this market.


Brenda Millar, Board Liaison, AICF


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Ed Tyrchniewicz to be Inducted into Manitoba Ag Hall of Fame 


Ed Tyrchniewicz, an AIC Past President (2002-2003), is being inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.  Dr. Tyrchniewsic began his career as Professor and then Department Head of Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba, and went on to become Dean, Agriculture & Forestry, at the University of Alberta. Over his long career, he participated in numerous provincial and national public inquiries. Many of his recommendations shaped the development of agricultural policy and programs related to sustainable livestock production, grain handling and transportation, and agri-food traceability.



He was named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada in 1985 in recognition of his many accomplishments in teaching, research and professional organizations. He is also a Past President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society and the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists.


Sources:; AIC Annual Report 1985

Photo:  University of Manitoba


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Kim Ominski - Innovation and Research for Sustainability 

OminskiCongratulations to Dr. Kim Ominski of Winnipeg for receiving an Honourable Mention in the Innovation and Research for Sustainability category of the Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards. The 2011 winners were announced at an awards reception on April 5, 2012 at the Manitoba Legislature.


Dr. Ominski leads the sustainable forage-beef cattle production systems research program at the University of Manitoba and the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment where she is engaged in research and outreach aimed at increasing the sustainability of cattle production.


Dr. Kim Ominski studied at the University of Manitoba and received her PhD in 1994. She joined the Department of Animal Science in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Science at the University of Manitoba as Assistant Professor in Beef Production Systems in 1999, became an Associate Professor in 2006 and a full Professor in 2012.


She kindly agreed to answer some questions for us.


Q: Did mentors play a part in your career choices?

A: Mentors played an extremely important role during my career. When I joined the University of Manitoba, I identified mentors in each of the three areas in which I was working - teaching, research and outreach. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have worked with these very gifted individuals and am grateful for their willingness to share their knowledge and experience.


Q: What advice would you give a young person considering a professional career in agriculture, especially animal science?

A: I once heard a great quote from Sheryl Sandberg regarding employment. "Try until you find something that stirs your passion, a job that matters to you and matters to others. It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It's also a very clear path to happiness."  Your attitude about your career is critical...embrace all that you do with passion and enthusiasm.


Since 2001, Dr. Ominski has developed a multidisciplinary, systems-based research program examining the productivity and environmental sustainability of forage-based beef cattle production systems. These projects have brought together expertise from several university departments to examine issues of greenhouse gas production, as well nutrient and pathogen cycling, in both preserved forage and pasture production systems. Involvement of provincial and federal commodity groups and government agencies have ensured best management practices developed as a consequence of this research and are effectively disseminated.


Dr. Ominski's research is funded by livestock industry groups such as the Manitoba Beef Producers, the Canadian Cattleman Association, the Beef Cattle Research Council, and the Manitoba Livestock Manure Initiative. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba, Kim worked as a regional livestock specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. She is a founding member of the Manitoba Grazing School Organizing Committee since its inception in 1997.


Q: What advice can you give new professionals about the importance of research and publishing?

A: Publishing is essential...not only for the sake of academic knowledge but it also serves as the basis for sound policy and program development for our government and industry partners. For junior scientists, I suggest choosing a mentor - someone who is an excellent critical thinker, has a good publication record and is willing to share their knowledge.


Kim has received a number of professional awards. In 2001, she received the Innovation Team Award for her systems approach to research and problem solving. She was recognized with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Teacher of the Year Award in 2006, the University of Manitoba Merit Award in 2004, the Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) in 2004, the Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public Service of the Canadian Society of Animal Science in 2007 and a University of Manitoba Outreach Award in 2009.  Click here to see a list of her recent publications.


Dinah Ceplis, AIC GEM Working Group


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Frances Rodenburg, Editor