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Why SDSU’s President sitting on Monsanto’s Board is troubling

The SD Peace & Justice Center smacks down SDSU’s President’s appointment to the Monsanto board

From my email box;

Letter & Resolution

Sent to: Mr. Terry Baloun, President – South Dakota Board of Regents

The South Dakota Peace and Justice Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by faith leaders from throughout South Dakota. We are led by a 15-member Board of Directors, with our work driven by advocacy for the disenfranchised, environmental sustainability, justice system reform, and a vision for a more just and peaceful world.

We sent the resolution  below, passed by our Board of Directors to both the Board of Regents and to Dr. Chicoine’s office, because we are deeply concerned about the situation involving the President of South Dakota State University, Dr. David Chicoine.

We believe, as stated in the resolution copied below, that Dr. Chicoine presents a conflict of interest when serving on the Board of Directors of a company like Monsanto.

Please review the situation, and if you are able, contact the Board of Regents, and Dr. Chicoine. Urge that a choice be made between his paid position with the state of South Dakota and his paid position on the Board of Directors for Monsanto.

For further research, cut and paste the following links into your web browser: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/Monsantovsusfarmersreport.cfm


Sincerely, Richard Iron Cloud – Board President

RE South Dakota State University and Monsanto

South Dakota Peace and Justice Center Board Resolution

WHEREAS, South Dakota State University was founded as a land grant college, with a specific mission to educate the farm community and to provide scientific expertise to production agriculture, and

WHEREAS, Dr. David Chicoine is employed as President of South Dakota State University with an annual salary of $300,000 plus benefits, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Chicoine has now been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Monsanto corporation, in which capacity he is receiving substantial additional compensation, and

WHEREAS, Monsanto sells and actively promotes agricultural chemicals and genetically modified crops, with a detrimental impact on the natural environment, on neighboring organic farmers, and on genetic biodiversity, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Chicoine’s dual role creates a clear conflict of interest and also has ominous implications for academic freedom within the academic community, possibly including a chilling effect on professors and researchers at SDSU who might wish to study the impact of Monsanto’s products and sales practices on the future of South Dakota’s farm and ranch community, and

WHEREAS, the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center is a statewide organization of almost 1,000 South Dakota households, institutions, and congregations, which is dedicated to protecting family farmers and ranchers from corporate agriculture and to promoting a healthy environment,

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center does hereby call upon the South Dakota Board of Regents to require Dr. David Chicoine to choose between his role as President of South Dakota State University and his service on the Board of Directors of Monsanto, since it is a clear conflict of interest for him to remain in both positions.

Unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center on July 25, 2009, Richard Iron Cloud, President

Imagine that, Terry Baloun is involved (Event Center Task Force Member)

Chico needs to quit Monsanto board. Immediately.


This letter says it all;

There are no benefits to a land-grant university from sharing its president with a multi-national corporation. Monsanto is in the business of making money. It pulled down a profit of almost $1 billion in 2008. It is eager for more and has no boundaries or allegiances to anyone other than shareholders.


A university is in the business of education and research. It should be an incubator of ideas and visions and should be free to entertain ways to make residents more independent from corporations.

Monsanto and other biotechnological corporations have been restricting university scientists from researching and publishing information on patented crops (see the Feb.

20 issue of the New York Times). A land-grant university cannot serve its mandate of freely disseminating information to farmers and other residents with a president who wears a Monsanto logo.

Monsanto is working on its image after a decade of bad press from hauling farmers such as Percy Schmeiser to court for allegedly planting patented seed on the sly. Monsanto is attempting to associate with esteemed institutions in hopes of blurring its achieved image: an ogre.

My biggest complaint is my tax money being intertwined with this corrupt corporation.

An Agri-science 3-headed monster controlling research at a publicly funded university a 'Good thing'

It’s no secret that I think the Gargoyle Leader’s Slippery Slope full Editorial board is whacked, they often take the extreme sides of issues. So it should be no surprise that they don’t have a problem with our tax dollars being intertwined with corporate monsters who only want to control research;

If such steps are maintained, it’s hard to see how this won’t benefit everyone.

I guess if competing and alternative (organic) corporations were also giving money to the University I could see this as a benefit, that’s not the case. This is clearly an atempt by Monsanto to control research about their products.

Should we be worried about SDSU's association with Monsanto?

Damn right we should!

As the Gargoyle Leader reported on Sunday the President of SDSU will be sitting on there board, the school also receives money from Monsanto. This is disheartening for several reasons. Not only do I not want my tax money being intertwined with a corporate monster who eats up farmers and competition for breakfast I also think their relationship is an attempt to control research.

This was a recent column from The Hightower Report newsletter that concerns me.

Apocalypse Now ipod