AUGUSTA – The Maine Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm Amanda Beal as commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation.

Beal, 46, the current president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, a nonprofit that works to protect farms from development and provide farmers with access to land, is the final Cabinet nominee for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. Beal has said she will resign from her position with the trust before being sworn in.

The 31-0 vote comes just days after the Legislature’s Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Committee gave Beal a unanimous endorsement. Mills’ choice of Beal had raised some moderate concerns among Republicans, who cited her lack of forestry experience, but she ultimately gained Republican support.

Amanda Beal

Beal joins a historic cabinet lineup that includes eight women selected by Mills – Maine’s first female governor – to head a state agency, numbers that make the Mills administration the most gender-diverse in state history.

“With her immense talents, knowledge and experience, she will be an excellent leader for the Department and will assemble a team of committed public servants who are good listeners and have a lot of common-sense and a bit of dirt under their nails,” Mills said in a prepared statement.

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