Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377,

May 27, 2014

Three Department of Agriculture and Markets Directors Elected As Presidents of National Food Safety and Dairy Organizations

Steve Stich, Casey McCue, Dan Rice

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today congratulated Casey McCue, Director of the Division of Milk Control; Stephen Stich, Director of the Division of Food Safety and Inspection; and Dan Rice, Director of the New York State Food Laboratory on being elected Presidents of three national food safety and dairy organizations.  McCue is currently serving out the remainder of his term as President of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials (NADRO), which ends July 16.  Stich begins his term as President of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) on June 29.  Rice begins his one year term as President of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) on July 1. 

“In my short time here at the Department of Agriculture and Markets, I have met agriculture policy leaders from across the country, many of whom look to our Department for leadership and guidance,” said Commissioner Ball.  “Casey McCue, Steve Stich and Dan Rice are exemplary Division Directors with wide ranging regulatory responsibilities that help protect the food supply of millions of consumers.  They are true leaders within the Department of Agriculture and Markets who are also considered leaders by their peers from across the country.  I congratulate all three of these food safety experts on this tremendous achievement.”

Dan Rice:

Dan Rice is the Director of the New York State Food Laboratory, which supports the regulatory programs of the Divisions of Food Safety and Inspection, Milk Control, and Plant Industry by providing analytical testing of samples that are collected as part of scheduled regulatory or surveillance programs and in response to disease outbreak investigations, consumer complaints, and a variety of other food related investigations.  Specialized analytical services are also provided at the lab on a contract basis to universities and various state and federal agencies.

Dan earned a BS in Zoology and a MS in Veterinary Epidemiology from Washington State University and is a Doctor of Public Health candidate in the School of Public Health at the State University of NY at Albany. He expects to complete his Doctorate of Public Health this year.  Prior to his current position, Dan was affiliated with the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he supervised a research program on the ecology and epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens in food animal production facilities. Dan’s primary public health interests are in food safety and he serves on several national workgroups and committees.

Dan joined the Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2004 as Director of the State Food Laboratory which provides laboratory support for a wide array of food safety and agricultural programs.  Dan also helped oversee the completion of the state’s new Food Laboratory, which opened in 2013 in Albany.  Dan is the incoming President of APHL, which is the professional association representing state and local laboratories engaged in testing and programs that support public health. 

“It is truly a privilege to work for an agency such as the Department of Agriculture and Markets where public health is such an integral part of the core mission,” Rice said.  “New York is well known as having one of the most innovative food laboratories in the country.  As President of the APHL I will represent public health laboratory programs as well as a diverse group of public health professionals who are focused on human and animal health issues that extend well beyond agriculture.  This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from my colleagues and build connections with other states that in the long run will not only help our own food lab, but laboratories across the country.”

Steve Stich:

Steve Stich is the Director of the Division of Food Safety and Inspection, which is the agency’s largest Division and has jurisdiction over 28,000 food handling establishments across New York State.  These include grocery stores, supermarkets, manufacturing/processing plants, beverage plants, food warehouses, and wholesale bakeries.  The Division also helped initiate a nationwide recall of chicken jerky products for pets in early 2013.
Food inspectors who work for Steve routinely collect food samples and send them to the State Food Laboratory for analysis.

Steve grew up in Oneida County, received a degree in Environmental Science from Morrisville State College, and started his career with the Department of Agriculture and Markets in 1987 as a Food Inspector in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.  In 1992, he was promoted to a supervisory position in Albany where he progressed through the ranks and was named Director in 2010.  He also participates in several multi-state and federal food safety workgroups.

Steve is the incoming President of the Association of Food and Drug Officials, which helps to advance uniform laws, regulations, and guidelines that result in more efficient regulation and less confusion among industry in the marketplace.

“As someone who cares deeply about food safety issues, I’m pleased to be leading an organization whose membership consists of some of the most passionate food safety professionals in the country,” Stich said.  “With new federal laws taking effect that impact states across the country, the need for states to work together is critical.  New York is considered a leader in food safety and our membership in AFDO keeps us engaged at the forefront nationally in the area of food safety.”

Casey McCue:  

Casey McCue is the Director of the Division of Milk Control and has worked for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets since 2000.  The Division regulates New York’s largest agricultural industry through various sanitation and inspection programs and issues licenses to every dairy processing facility in the state, and inspects each fluid, manufacturing and wholesale frozen dessert plant every 90 days. Division employees conduct over 6,500 inspections and obtain over 13,000 samples at New York’s 360 dairy processing facilities every year.  The Division also provides oversight of New York’s Certified Milk Inspector Program where industry inspectors maintain the sanitation requirements on the state’s Grade A dairy farms.

Casey has served in many positions since starting as a Dairy Products Specialist 1 in Jefferson and Lewis counties. Casey grew up deeply involved in his grandparents’ dairy farm near Lowville and after graduating from SUNY Canton with a Degree in Milk and Food Quality Control, he began his career in industry on both the producer and processor sides. He is the current President of NADRO, which works to address issues within the dairy industry and make recommendations to relevant federal agencies and national organizations.  His involvement in national dairy regulatory issues also landed him a seat on the Executive Board of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, serving in many roles within the councils and committees of the conference.  He was the 2012 recipient of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s Administration Award for his work on behalf of New York’s rapidly growing dairy industry.

“Over the past year, in my role as President of NADRO, I have worked with colleagues from across the country on issues pertaining to the dairy industry, which is the largest agricultural industry in New York State,” McCue said.  “Dairy continues to grow and diversify here in New York and my membership in NADRO has been an invaluable resource in helping our Division and New York State adapt to changes within the industry and learn how other states handle similar situations.  I’ve enjoyed my time as President and have been proud to represent New York State in this leadership role.”

All three of these employees are Capital Region residents.  

For more information on the Association of Public Health Laboratories, please visit:

For more information about the Association of Food and Drug Officials, please visit:

For more information on the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials, please visit:

2014 Press Releases