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Roland A. Chicoine

Roland A. Chicoine
Roland A. Chicoine

Eminent Farmer

County: Union

Roland A. Chicoine has worked all his life to improve South Dakota and has been a lifelong supporter of education as a means to achieve self-improvement and community betterment. That lesson was learned well by his eight children. Among them, they have seven master's degrees and two Ph.D.'s. 

He currently serves as a state representative. He was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 1980 from District 13. In 1988, he was elected to the State Senate from District 16. He moved back to the State House in 1992 because of redistricting and currently represents all of Union County, and most of Lincoln County. While in the Legislature, he has served on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Education, Judiciary, Health and Welfare and Appropriations Committees. 

He has represented South Dakota legislators at several national conferences. As a member of the Legislature, he introduced and supported many bills that have benefited agriculture. He was instrumental in establishing the Tri-State Legislators Conference as a forum for legislators from South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska to solve Siouxland problems. 

Chicoine was active in the Livestock Improvement Association and the Crop Improvement Association and the combined Agriculture Improvement Association. He led the movement to bring specialty crops to South Dakota, including sugar beets and truck gardening and served as president of the Union County Sugar Beet Association.

He fed cattle, was a hog farrower and fed out large numbers of native and western sheep for many years. He actively worked with the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service, and opened his farm to test plots operated by the Extension Service and private companies. In the 1950s, he did extensive experimentation with minimum tillage and ridge planting. He helped organize the South Dakota Irrigators Association. 

He served as county and state president of that association and lobbied for the organization at the state capitol. He was active in organizing the Lower Big Sioux Conservancy District to mitigate the flooding and economic loss to the farmers and area towns. He was a 4-H leader for 35 years. He served as 4-H Volunteer Leader's president at the county and state levels. He belongs to the St. Peter's Catholic Church in Jefferson and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and is on the Ag Committee for the Elk Point Chamber of Commerce. He is a charter member of the Elk Point Lions Club and a member of the Elk Point Country Club. 

He served on the Elk Point Independent School District. During his tenure, he helped establish bus lines to serve rural areas and also established the National Honor Society and an honors program in the district. Other positions of leadership include board member and president of the Federal Land Bank in Beresford, Sioux Falls and president of the Farm Advisory Board of the Omaha Federal Land Bank. He was chairman of the South Dakota Water Congress and a Director of the Union County Farmers Home Administration. 

He is listed in Who's Who in America. His family was recognized as the South Dakota State University Family of the Year. He has received the Union County Farm Bureau 4-H Leadership Award, Tri-State SIMPCO Award, Farmers Union Legislative Award, Award for 17 years of service to the Federal Land Bank Association and USD Friend of the University Award. Chicoine's wife Evelyn is deceased. They have eight children including: Jeff, David, Marcia Quinn, Dan, Tim, Brian, Ellen Little and Nicole Klein.