The Keystone Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society is a multi disciplinary membership organization, that advocates for the protection, enhancement and sustainable use of soil, water and natural resources. Through education and example, we promote an ethic that recognizes the interdependence of people and the environment.

Executive Committee



Lamonte Garber

Lamonte is the Watershed Restoration Coordinator for Stroud Water Research Center.  

He coordinates projects which strengthen the environmental performance and economic sustainability of agricultural producers and rural landowners in Pennsylvania. Lamonte uses a broad suite of tools in his work including outreach, fundraising, media, project coordination, and on-farm assistance.


Past President

Lisa Blazure

Soil Health Coordinator, Stroud Water Research Center.  Lisa serves as the coordinator for PA Soil Health Coalition.  She is actively engage in soil health education and advocating for regenerative agricultural practices.

"It's time we stop treating our soils like dirt" - David Montgomery

Black and Yellow Spider

President Elect

Mary Smith



Gary Smith

Gary joined SWCS as a student in 1978 in the All Ohio Chapter and has been a member for over 40 years.  He has served in many positions including President of the Keystone Chapter.  Gary retired after a 39 year career with USDA SCS/NRCS.  He has a Business Administration degree from West Liberty University and an Agronomy/Soils degree from Ohio State University.  



Curtis Dell

Research Soil Scientist

USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit

Regional Representatives

Spring Branches

Region 1

Geri Montgomery

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmorland

Yellow Daffodils

Region 2

Charlie White

Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Tioga, Potter, Union

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Soil Fertility & Nutrient Management, Penn State

Spring Buds

Region 3


Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Pike, Wayne, Wyoming 

Purple Buds

Region 4

Mary Smith

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder, Somerset


Region 5 & 6

Kefini Kejela

Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster,  Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, York 

Kefini Kejela is a soil conservationist and certified conservation planner for USDA NRCS in Lancaster County.   Kefini received his undergraduate and graduate degrees abroad and in 2002 received his PhD in Environmental Science at Oklahoma State University. 

Kefini started his career in Ethiopia and worked for many years as a Soil Scientist with NRCS.  Currently, in addition to his soil conservationist duties, he serves statewide as the Black Special Emphasis Program Manager for USDA NRCS.      

Field of Chrysanthemums


Sjoerd W Duiker

At-Large: Sjoerd W. Duiker

Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics  

Penn State

History of the Chapter

The Keystone Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society was formed on November 14th, 1946. It was comprised of 12 members ranging from a Glarfelter Paper Company, Farm Bureau Cooperative, and SCS employees to name a few. Their mission was "State Chapter Organized to Conserve Soil". Since that time the Chapter won numerous 'Oustanding Chapter Awards'  (1984,1987,1991,2007) and has supported student scholarships since 1980. We have over 100 members and have hosted a number of conferences and field days. We will continue to strive to carry on the tradition in the Keystone Chapter SWCS that was started 62 years ago.

Chapter By-Laws

"The objectives of the Chapter shall be the same as those of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (hereinafter referred to as the Society), as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of good land and water use." 



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