On January 9, 2014, Richard A. Ball was nominated as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
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.
Nicole Leblond was appointed Deputy Commissioner for two critical divisions at the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Agricultural Development and Weights and Measures, where she spearheads critical initiatives including the Nourish New York program, farmers’ market resiliency efforts, and more.
Ms. Leblond previously served as Deputy Communications Director for both Economic Development and Health in the Executive Chamber for the Office of the New York State Governor, working for approximately six years handling crises management, policy development, and strategic communications.
Prior to that, Ms. Leblond worked in the education world serving as both Director of Communications and Manager of Special Projects for local and national charter school organizations including The Brighter Choice Foundation and National Heritage Academies.
Early in her career, Ms. Leblond worked as Deputy Press Secretary and spokesperson for New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, covering various issues including local governments, school accountability, retirement, and not-for-profits, and also led critical marketing and campaign efforts through her work as a Public Affairs and Public Relations Account Executive at Eric Mower and Associates.
Ms. Leblond received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, and her master’s degree in business administration at The College of Saint Rose.
Ms. Trodden is a Deputy Commissioner with the Department. As Deputy Commissioner, sheoversees 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. Trodden has an extensive compliance and policy background 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. Trodden serves on the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s (NASDA) Produce Safety Implementation Group and is a member of the NASDA Food Safety Steering committee.
Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Trodden worked as the New York Environmental Health and Safety Regional Manager for PepsiCo; spent more than 10 years at the State University of New York’s Poly-Technical Institute as their Regional Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager; was an environmental and safety consultant to General Electric; was the Quality Control Manager at SCILAB; and began her career in public service as a health inspector at the Department of Health in Dublin, Ireland.
Jennifer has been executing public policy for over 20 years; holds a master’s degree in Environmental Health from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; is a Certified Safety Professional; is an advisory member on numerous boards across New York State; and is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctorate program at Northwestern University in California.
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.
As Assistant Commissioner for New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, Damali Hicks Wynter develops new opportunities for New York’s agricultural community with an equitable and access-driven mindset; advances outreach efforts to support sustainable communication with diverse communities; and represents the Department on several commissions and advisory boards. In her role, she bridges challenging gaps in communication and relationship-building between government operations and community partners. These efforts align well with her coordination of the New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy, which unites leadership in food system-related programs and agricultural activities to inform state and federal policy. Ms. Wynter’s long-term vision aims to establish a solid agricultural leadership pipeline to support workforce development plans and raise consumer awareness of the pivotal daily role of agriculture in our lives.
With over 20 years of professional leadership experience, an M.P.A. from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School for Public Service (New York, NY), and a B.S. from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY), 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 disconnected career paths.