Minnesota-based dairy giant Land O'Lakes has appointed Beth Ford as its new CEO.

The announcement makes Ford the first out lesbian running a Fortune 500 company.

According to Forbes, Ford will replace Chris Policinski, who is retiring. Ford is also the company's first female CEO in its 97-year history.

“Ford said [her sexual orientation] didn't even come up in the discussions with the board,” Forbes wrote. “But she conceded that 'it's not nothing.'”

In a statement given to CNN, Ford said that she was “extraordinarily grateful” to “work at a company that values family, including my own.”

“The Board chose the person they felt best met the criteria to drive success in the business. I realize this is an important milestone for many people and I am pleased to share it. I made a decision long ago to live an authentic life and if my being named CEO helps others do the same, that’s a wonderful moment,” she said.

Ford begins her new job on Wednesday.