Alumni Play Instrumental Role in Vermont Right-to-Know Food Labeling Legislation
Two alumni—Jeff Weinstein ’90 and Robb Kidd ’94—have been critical players in a recent effort in Vermont to pass a bill requiring the labeling of products containing genetically modified foods.
Weinstein, founder and managing partner of Two Guys in Vermont, a specialty food business that sells all-natural soups made with local fresh ingredients from family farms, and Kidd, the Vermont organizing representative for the Sierra Club and until recently the organizer for Rural Vermont, a political advocacy organization, were among those advocating for the bill.
“My primary role was to engage and identify activists to advocate for our desired results,” says Kidd. “I recruited Jeff to testify to the legislature, and to speak to the media. Jeff’s company produces soups sourced with ingredients from mostly Vermont farmers and is committed to sourcing natural and non-gmo ingredients. He became a prominent supporter of the campaign, and thereafter became a board member of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.” Both were on hand when Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the legislation.
The two alumni, who both live in Montpelier with their wives and families, were not always on the same side of the issue during their days on campus: Weinstein served as SGA president in 1988-89, and Kidd was an SGA representative. “Jeff and I were frequently at odds with each other over many issues, including some hostile exchanges in the Beacon,” says Kidd.