ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk by Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF), about how investing in partnerships helps the agency work more effectively for the state and its people. The virtual event, which is free and open to the public, will be from 3–4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.

The talk is available via Zoom and registration is required. To register and receive connection information, visit the event webpage at https://umaine.edu/mitchellcenter/event/talk-leading-together-strengthening-policy-outcomes-through-collaboration/. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or hallsworth@maine.edu.

DACF oversees many of Maine’s most important natural resources that are central to the state’s economy. As Maine faces daunting challenges, from climate change to a global pandemic, investing in strong partnerships has been crucial to the department’s effectiveness. Commissioner Beal will discuss strategic collaborations with UMaine and other partners, and how they are positioning DCAF to best serve the people of Maine.

Beal’s lifelong interest in food production began as a child growing up on her family’s commercial dairy farm in Maine. Before joining DACF, she served as the president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, and prior to that, its policy and research director. She also has worked in the public health field and as an independent consultant on food system-related projects for a number of fisheries, agriculture and other food-focused organizations and businesses.

Beal has authored and co-authored numerous papers and reports, including “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities.”