Samuel Peprah (MSc., PAg.)

Manager/Research Coordinator

I am Samuel Peprah, MARA’s Manager. I am responsible for leading, planning, executing and monitoring MARA’s research and extension programs. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science (Animal Science major) from the University of Ghana. I pursued a Master of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. As part of my graduate research, I worked on novel forage legumes for sustainable summer pasture mixtures. I have also worked with the Ultimate Yield Management Institute as an Agronomy Assistant, providing agronomic services to producers in Central and Southern Saskatchewan on canola, soybean, barley and lentil. I have presented to producers, researchers and students at different avenues, including at AAFC-Swift Current, Western Beef Development Center, American Society of Animal Sciences and at the International Rangeland Conference. I enjoy traveling and sightseeing, playing tennis, and soccer.

Direct Contact
Samuel Peprah
Email: //
Cell Phone: 780-285-0988

Krishanthi Vithanage (MSc., PAg.)

Office Manager/Extension Coordinator

KrishanthiI’m Krishanthi Vithanage, joined MARA as Assistant Manager/Research Coordinator in April 2018.  I obtained BSc. in Agriculture with a major in crop science and MSc. in Crop Science/Horticulture from the  University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. I served as a temporary academic staff member for 2 years at the Faculty of Agriculture, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. I moved to Canada in 2011 with a scholarship to start my 2nd MSc. degree at Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. My research work was focused on Crop physiology, Stress-Physiology, Eco- Physiology, Agronomy, and seedling emergence modeling of processing carrot production. I served as a Field Crop Research Assistant at the Nova Scotia Crop Development Institute, Dalhousie University until 2015, and moved to Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2016 to start a new role, as the Research Associate at Cavendish Farms Research Department. In July 2020, I started my new role with MARA as Extension Coordinator and Office Manager with more focusing on Extension to assist producers in the region. I enjoy traveling and doing Zumba/yoga during my free time.

Direct Contact
Krishanthi Vithanage
Email: //
Cell Phone: 780-285-0911

Frank Fehr
Senior Research Technician

was born and raised on a farm in Northern British Columbia. I moved to Fort Vermilion, Alberta in 2013. I have been farming most of my life and enjoy it. I enjoy the outdoors and working in the fields. I really love experimenting with new and different ideas aimed at improving farming. In addition to my work as MARA’s Senior Research Technician, I am an active Volunteer Firefighter. At MARA, I am responsible for equipment repair and maintenance and I am the go-to guy on almost everything that requires mechanical assessment.


Capri Kozij 
Summer Research Technician

I’m Capri Kozij, a Summer Research Technician at Mackenzie Applied Research Association (MARA). I grew up on the outskirts of Fort Vermilion spending the majority of my time working with horses, competing at rodeos, and helping out on the ranch. I help out on my sister and brother-in-law’s farm when needed whether it is running equipment, fixing fence, or feeding the horses and cows. I am a registered Equine and Canine Massage Therapist and Vertebral Realignment Specialist. I enjoy working outside as much as possible, for hobby’s I like riding my motorcycle. I am a National level competitor in bodybuilding.


Hunter Orlesky
Summer Research Technician

Hi, my name is Hunter Orlesky. I was born in High Level, Alberta, and raised on the outskirts of La Crete AB. I have always been had an interest in agriculture, this became more than interest when I spent the first four years of my working life at Frontier Seed Cleaning Co-op. I joined MARA in the spring of 2019, as a Summer Research Technician. I will be returning to school in Fall. I enjoy working outdoors.


Jesse Kozij 
Summer Research Technician

I’m Jesse Kozij, a Summer Research Technician at MARA for the 2020 season. I’ve lived my entire life in Fort Vermilion, and have always been exposed to farming. MARA has given me the perfect opportunity for summer employment, allowing me to experience experimental farming first hand. Currently, I am pursuing a 2-year diploma at Prairie College for Digital Media. I enjoy music, photography, going to the gym, and traveling. My position at MARA is partially funded by the Federal government through the Canada Summer Jobs program.