In the years since Paul DiMare came to the Sunshine State in 1964 to oversee the operations of the DiMare company’s Florida branch of businesses, he grew to be a stalwart defender of Florida agriculture and a pioneer in the tomato industry.
A vocal champion of innovation, DiMare worked hard to improve the quality of Florida tomatoes by partnering with UF/IFAS and actively supporting new policies, practices and science that changed the industry.
In 2005, The Paul DiMare Foundation created an endowed professorship at the University of Florida to support a faculty member researching tomato breeding and genetics. This professorship, now held by Dr. Sam Hutton at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, focuses on the future by developing new varieties that will continue to move the tomato industry forward in Florida while also improving the quality and yield of tomatoes for consumers. Over the past decade, more than 30 hybrids and breeding lines have been released from the program. Some of these had novel disease resistances and others combined traits for improved harvesting efficiency. All were developed with the aim of supporting the state’s tomato industry.
Paul’s impact on the tomato industry in the State of Florida is unmatched and his influence on agriculture was recognized through his induction into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2005 and as the UF/IFAS Champion at the Dinner of Distinction 2019.
As we remember Paul, UF/IFAS is thankful for his friendship and his unrelenting support for agriculture in Florida.