Beth Ford, chief executive of Land O'Lakes Inc., joined the board of directors of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset management company.

Ford, who took the helm of the Arden Hills-based farmers' cooperative in 2018, is one of two new members of BlackRock's 18-person board. The company also elected Kristin Peck, chief executive of Zoetis Inc., an animal health company spun off from drugmaker Pfizer Inc. in 2013.

"Beth and Kristin are recognized leaders in their respective industries, and they bring a wide range of valuable perspectives and experiences that will help BlackRock and the Board navigate the future," Larry Fink, BlackRock's founder and CEO, said in a statement.

"Key to that future is a mindset that embraces and accounts for our impact on all stakeholders, which is precisely what Beth champions through the Land O' Lakes cooperative framework which cares deeply about the company's impact on all of its stakeholders, including its shareholders, the agriculture community and employees," Fink said.

He said Ford is a prominent voice on climate change, immigration and infrastructure. Under Ford's leadership, Land O'Lakes has taken an active role trying to bridge urban and rural divisions and promote the construction of high-speed internet in small towns and farm areas.

Ford is also on the board of Paccar Inc., a maker of trucks and components, and several nonprofit and trade associations, including the Business Roundtable and National Milk Producers Federation.

With $9 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock tops the list of financial investment firms. Vanguard Group is next at $7.5 trillion, followed by UBS and Fidelity, both with around $4 trillion in assets under management.