Oct 6, 2023
Lipman adds UF breeder for conventional, organic produce
Sam Hutton, a renowned University of Florida (UF) tomato breeder, has joined Lipman Family Farms’ R&D team as the grower-shipper’s senior breeder.
Since 2010, Hutton has worked at UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, Florida, where his tomato breeding research efforts focused on germplasm improvement and cultivar development.
Hutton, associate professor of horticulture, was chair of the UF/IFAS Plant Breeding Working Group, which worked to improve yield, quality and disease resistance in varieties adapted to Florida’s subtropical climate.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Hutton join our R&D team,” Mark Barineau, Lipman’s director of R&D, said in a news release. “With his extensive background in horticulture and breeding, we have a truly unique opportunity to combine our respective knowledge and experience to make even more innovative and desirable tomatoes for our customers.”
Lipman characterized Hutton as a distinguished expert in the fields of horticulture and breeding.
“Hutton brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” according to the release. “His impressive academic background is complemented by his remarkable industry achievements.”
Hutton earned a Ph.D. in horticulture from UF, an M.S. in plant breeding from the University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in agronomy from Mississippi State University.
“Sam’s arrival marks an exciting chapter in our commitment to innovation and quality,” Elyse Lipman, Lipman’s CEO, said in the release. “As Senior Breeder, Sam will play a pivotal role in all aspects of our breeding and hybrid seed production, collaborating across our organization. His mission is to develop even more desirable tomato varieties for Lipman and our farming partners through our innovative R&D program, creating new and more flavorful products.”
Hutton will work in Lipman’s R&D facility in Estero, Florida, in the Fort Myers, Florida, area. The facility, which includes breeders and horticultural scientists experienced in R&D and hybrid seed production, work to create new varieties in dedicated trials for Lipman’s open-field production. The in-house research program is signature of Lipman’s vertical integration and quality, according to the release.
Lipman grows a variety of conventional and organic field and greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, specialty peppers, cucumbers, squash, green beans, eggplant, hard squash and watermelons.
Lipman’s Grown True line of USDA-certified organic products include varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, mini sweet peppers, squash and zucchini. Lipman entered organics around 2012.
Beginning in the 1930s, the family-owned Lipman has become one of the nation’s largest integrated networks of growers, fresh-cut processors and distributors of fresh produce. The company has created connections between its employees, customers and communities that helps ensure its ability to act as responsible stewards of its land and our people, according to the release. The company prides itself as being “large enough to be local everywhere” and is dedicated to “being good from the ground up,” providing solutions in research & development, field and greenhouse growing, procuring, packing, repacking, fresh-cut processing, distributing, food safety, and culinary development.