The Burlington County Board of County Commissioners is mourning the passing of Ray Samulis, who served more than four decades as Burlington County’s agricultural agent before retiring in 2017.
Samulis died Wednesday, Feb. 24, with family by his side, according to the Rutgers Cooperative Agricultural Extension, where he spent 41 years leading the Burlington County office.
As the county’s agricultural agent, Samulis aided farmers and gardeners throughout the county and region, dispensing advice and information on a host of issues and subjects, including irrigation, pesticide use, farm safety and business programs.
“In a county renown for being the birthplace of farmland preservation and No. 1 in New Jersey in total preserved farmland, Mr. Samulis was our foremost expert on how to make things grow green and bountiful,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “He was the plant doctor for our entire county, and he treated every farm and garden like it was his own. On behalf of our entire County family, we want to extend our deepest condolences to his family and to all his colleagues at the Extension.”
The Roebling resident garnered statewide attention for his expertise with sweet corn and was responsible for establishing the Extension’s comprehensive sweet corn program involving field research, training seminars and marketing research.
Samulis was also knowledgeable about the county’s other crops and he worked closely with the county’s cranberry, pumpkin and vegetable growers. In addition, he was a leading farm safety advocate.
“Burlington County has such a wonderful agricultural heritage and Mr. Samulis was a huge part of that. For over 40 years he was the person our farmers turned to when they had a problem with soil, weather, pests or even business trouble,” said Commissioner Linda Hynes, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation. “His passing is a huge loss for Burlington County and our entire state, but his contributions will be remembered fondly with each successful harvest.”