Commissioner Ball

On January 9, 2014, Richard A. Ball was nominated as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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Steve McGrattan

Steve McGrattan

Steve McGrattan is First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets. In this role, he oversees the Department's deputy commissioners and their divisions, as well as its additional offices including human resources, fiscal management, counsel, internal control, public information, intergovernmental affairs, emergency management, and the Great New York State Fair.

Mr. McGrattan has spent his career in public service. Prior to joining the Department, Steve worked for the Fulton County Planning Department as a planner and for the Office of Community Renewal as an economic development program manager. He joined the Department in 2004 as an economic development program manager and later became director of the division of agricultural development before being appointed First Deputy Commissioner in late 2019.

Mr. McGrattan holds a bachelor's degree in geography from SUNY Geneseo. Outside of work, he is an avid traveler and explorer, spending much of his time outside and volunteering as an advisor with the Fonda/Fultonville Central School District's outdoor club. He also sings in the choir at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Katie Howard

Deputy Commissioner Katie Howard
Katie Howard serves as Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. As Deputy Commissioner, she oversees three of the Department’s largest divisions: the Divisions of Food Safety Inspection; Milk Control and Dairy Services; and the New York State Food Laboratory.

Ms. Howard has an extensive background in compliance and policy, and as the primary food safety advisor for the Department, she is integrally involved in policy and programmatic issues affecting the broad areas of food safety across both New York State and the United States. Ms. Howard also serves on the LeadNY Advisory Board, a program dedicated to fostering the growth and development of the next generation of leaders in the food, agriculture, and natural resources sectors of the northeast.

Ms. Howard joined New York State in 2013 in the inaugural class of Excelsior Service Fellows and has since worked at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in their Counsel’s Office and Commissioner’s Office, as well as the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Litigation Bureau. In April 2020, Ms. Howard joined the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, serving as Deputy Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk, and Compliance. As Special Counsel, she assisted the agency in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, developing guidance to help address the emerging needs of the agricultural industry during that extraordinarily difficult time. At the end of 2021, she transferred into the agency’s Counsel’s Office, where she was involved in the development and implementation of statutes, regulations, and guidance concerning food safety, compliance, and risk mitigation.

Ms. Howard graduated Le Moyne College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and crime and justice studies. She received her Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in 2013 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2014. In her free time, Ms. Howard can be found visiting her apiary, using the sawmill with her husband, or practicing agility with their dog.

Elizabeth Wolters

Elizabeth Wolters serves as Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets. In this capacity, she oversees the Department’s Divisions of Plant Industry, Land and Water Resources, and Animal Industry. Under her direction, these departments administer a wide array of programs to protect the state’s plant and land resources as well as animal and public health.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Wolters worked for New York Farm Bureau as both Deputy Director of Public Policy and Senior Associate Director of National Affairs where she gained expertise on energy, climate, environmental, and dairy policy as well as Federal Farm Bill programs. She also worked in the State legislature in several capacities. Ms. Wolters holds masters degree in business administration from the Sage Colleges and a bachelors degree from Siena College.

Damali Wynter

Damali Wynter.

As Assistant Commissioner for New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, Damali Hicks Wynter develops the Department’s outreach strategies to support respectful and sustainable communication with all stakeholders; works with all divisions to promote inclusiveness of education and development of opportunities with an equitable and access-driven mindset; and coordinates collaborative efforts between national organizations and with state-level partners. She oversees multiple platforms for the public to gain information and provide input. Her work to support agriculture education, youth leadership, health advocacy, and equity, is present when representing the Department on several commissions and advisory boards, including New York State’s Master Plan for Aging and NYSERDA’s Energy Equity Collaborative.

In her role, Ms. Wynter bridges challenging gaps in communication and relationship-building between government operations and community partners. Her vision aims to (1) support diversity in leadership and decision-making input, (2) establish a solid agricultural leadership pipeline to support long-term workforce development plans, and (3) raise consumer awareness of the pivotal daily role of agriculture in all of our lives.

With over 20 years of professional leadership experience, an MPA from New York University, and a BS from Syracuse University, New York State’s Excelsior Fellowship introduced her to a government career to realize public service efforts. Ms. Wynter appreciates critical thinking and its many applications. She holds a valued bird’s eye view and respect for ground-level perspective in decision-making. Feel free to challenge her to discuss how agriculture plays a role in seemingly unconnected career paths.