Staff

Samuel Peprah
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 sight seeing, playing tennis, and soccer.
Direct Contact
Samuel Peprah
Email: //manager@mackenzieresearch.ca//
Cell Phone: 780-285-0988


Krishanthi Vithanage (MSc, PAg)

Assistant Research Coordinator

KrishanthiI’m Krishanthi Vithanage and joined MARA as Assistant Research Coordinator in April 2018.  I obtained my BSc. in Agriculture-major in crop science and MSc. in Crop Science with the focus on Horticultural crop production from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. I served as a temporary academic staff member for 2 years at Faculty of Agriculture, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. I moved to Canada in 2011 with a scholarship to start my 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 modelling of processing carrot production. After graduation I started as a Research Assistant at the Nova Scotia Crop Development Institute, Department of Plant Science, Dalhousie University and worked with the cereals, oil seeds and legume research group. I moved to Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2016 to work with Cavendish Farms Research Department as the Research Associate. Experiments conducted to understand the best Management practices, new potato varieties, nutrient management and pest and disease management for potato production under PEI conditions. I enjoy traveling and doing Zumba/yoga during my free times.
Direct Contact
Krishanthi Vithanage
Email: //research@mackenzieresearch.ca//
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 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.



Frank Schmidt
Summer Research Technician

I am Frank Frank Schmidt. I was born in Fort, and spent my growing up years on a farm in the La Crete area. I graduated from La Crete Public School in 1996. After this I started in the mechanic field and have 20 plus years as a journeyman in automotive and heavy duty mechanic. I live in the Blumenort area on an acreage with my beautiful wife and daughter. I like being outdoors and enjoy activities such as camping, quading, fishing and hunting. I have always had an interest in farming and how machinery works. I joined MARA as a summer research technician in the spring of 2019.



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 interest in agriculture, this became more than an interest when I spent the first four years of my working life at Frontier Seed Cleaning Co-op. I joined MARA in spring of 2019, as a Summer Research Technician. I will be returning to school in Fall. I enjoy working outdoors. My position is funded by the Alberta government through STEP.



Chad Doerksen
Summer Research Technician
My name is Chad Doerksen. I was born in the town of High Level, Alberta, and lived on a small farm in the Bluemenort area. I got my High School in 2018. I joined MARA in spring of 2019 as a Summer Research Technician. I enjoy farm work, fixing classic cars, playing sports, and enjoying the outdoors. My position at MARA is partially funded by the Federal government through the Canada Summer Jobs program.