Miami-Dade County Man Named Sunshine State’s Farmer of the Year
A Homestead tomato producer and packer has received a prestigious honor for his business success and his contributions to his community. Earlier this month a panel of judges selected Paul J. DiMare as Florida’s top farmer for 2016.
Officially titled the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Florida Farmer of the Year, the award recognizes him for his innovative practices as a tomato grower and packer, as a community leader and as a responsible employer.
DiMare’s business participates in the Fair Food Program, an initiative that pays workers additional wages through voluntary sales agreements with customers. He is well-regarded as an innovator who advances and adopts best practices for natural research conservation as well as care for employees. His family’s agricultural operation utilizes conventional, organic and greenhouse production systems.
He has also earned an array of plaudits for his community service. The Homestead and Florida City Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2009; the Mexican-American Council saluted him with its Outstanding Agricultural Employer Award in 2011; and the Voices for Children organization named him its Humanitarian of the Year in 2012.
The family enterprise, DiMare Fresh,™ grows tomatoes in several Florida locations and operates multiple packing facilities in Florida, California, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
An inductee in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, DiMare received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southeast Produce Council in 2013.
DiMare and his wife, Swannee, have four sons – Tony, Paul Jr., Scott and Gino. Tony and Paul Jr. work in the family’s farm business.
Florida Farm Bureau Federation coordinates the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Florida Farmer of the Year competition. District field representatives across the state identify worthy individuals who must each complete a detailed application for award consideration. This year judges evaluated three outstanding applicants before making their decision.