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Barley breeder Mario Therrien, 58

Funeral services will be held Thursday in Brandon, Man. for federal research scientist and respected barley breeder Mario Therrien, who died Sept. 20.

According to the Sept. 29 Manitoba Co-operator, Therrien, 58, died unexpectedly at home, where he was recovering from surgery following a heart attack Sept. 9.

Therrien, born in Quebec City, worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Brandon Research Centre, where his credits include work on a number of barley varieties for the food, malting and feed markets.

Among those are HB122, a new food type considered to be the first barley variety with good dough-producing characteristics, and FB105 germplasm, with characteristics meant for swath grazing in Canadian Prairie conditions.

Among the projects on Therrien’s to-do list at AAFC Brandon at the time of his death was work on new barley cultivars with reduced levels of fusarium head blight and associated mycotoxins.

He was also working on development of cultivars with improved feed and forage quality to enhance livestock health and meat quality while also boosting yield to reduce risk of livestock production in a limited growing season.

His work on food-grade barleys was aimed at “enhanced health benefits and nutritional value” relative to existing wheat- and corn-based food products in wide use.

Therrien also served as an executive member on the Barley Development Council and as a member of the Prairie Registration Committee on Barley and Oats.

A funeral service for Therrien is scheduled for Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at Memories Chapel, 330-18th St. N. in Brandon, with interment to follow at Rosewood Memorial Gardens on Hwy. 1A West.

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