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Monday, April 20, 2009

Conscience or Crony? SDSU's Chicoine Joins Monsanto Board

As I catch up with a week's worth of local papers, I read that SDSU president Dr. David Chicoine has been appointed to the Monsanto board of directors. Dr. Chicoine joins executives from such august firms as McDonald's, Edward Jones, and Lockheed Martin.

Oddly missing from the bridge crew of this particular dreadnought of the vast ag-industrial complex: any directors with apparent background in public food policy, local sustainability, or environmental issues.

The Monsanto news release says that Dr. Chicoine will serve on two committees: Science & Technology, and Public Policy & Corporate Resposibility. I'd like to think that Dr. Chicoine could bring a healthy perspective as an academic and a South Dakotan on the importance of supporting small independent farms, organic farming techniques, and crop diversity. However, I suspect you don't get on the Monsanto board without being a believer the family-farm-killing, bigger-is-better corporate mindset. Dr. Chicoine, feel free to surprise me.


  1. This is a blatant conflict of interest. Corporations have one legal purpose - to increase profits for the shareholders. Period. They have no legal interest in public food policy, local sustainability, environmental issues. If corporations pursue ANYTHING not directly related to increasing profits they invite a shareholder suit.

  2. Dr. Chicoine's brother runs a family farm in Union Co.

  3. Maybe he's just trying to get more money out of them for State...

    Monsanto commits $1 million to sponsor fellowships at SDSU

  4. Definitely not good news for South Dakota farmers.

    Check out this investigative report on Monsanto's tactics.

  5. Good article, Erin! Looks like Dr. Chicoine's first action on the Corporate Responsibility committee should be to ask who's responsible for the intimidation campaign against small independent farmers.


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