Keith W. Eckel

Sole Proprietor and President, Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc.

Keith W. Eckel is Sole Proprietor and President of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc. in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. The farm, which produces tomatoes, sweet corn, and pumpkins for fresh market, as well as corn for grain, and wheat, was also a registered dairy farm until 1986.

Mr. Eckel has been active in agriculture at the local, state, and national levels. He is Past President of the Lackawanna County Cooperative Extension Association and the Endless Mountain Dairy Cooperative and is a Member of Green Grove Grange.

He is a member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board and past member of the Governor's Seasonal Farm Labor Committee. He is also past president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; past vice president of the Pennsylvania Council of Cooperative Extension Association; former board member of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association; and founder of the Pennsylvania Council of Cooperative Extension Association.

Nationally, he is a former member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee; charter member of the National Dairy Board; and a former Member of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables and the USDA's Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Advisory Committee.

Mr. Eckel is also a former member of the University of Pennsylvania's Board of Overseers, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Governor's Committee on The Open University.

He has been honored with the following awards: the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's Distinguished Service to Agriculture, 1998; the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's Barn Raiser Award; the Bellweather Award, University of Pennsylvania, 1996; Honorary County Agent Award, Pennsylvania Association of County Agricultural Agents, 1991; Master Farmer Award, Penn State, 1982; Pennsylvania Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer Award. He was also named "Newsmaker of the Year," by the Scranton Times in 1978.

He was elected to the Board of Trustees by delegates from agricultural societies effective July 2001 and was reelected for succeeding terms.

August 2008