Friday, July 05, 2024

Brentwood's Tractor Supply ends DEI initiatives, pride funding

By Jon Styf, The Center Square, Jul 3, 2024 - Brentwood-based Tractor Supply announced it is eliminating all diversity, equity and inclusion roles and goals along with discontinuing sending data to the Human Rights Campaign in response to conservative complaints related to its policies.

Former Fifth Congressional District candidate Robby Starbuck brought the complaints to light in a June 6 social media post on the topic.

Starbuck said that Tractor Supply had a DEI Council, it funded sex change operations and it funded pride and drag events, climate change activism and hosted LGBTQIA events at the office.

“We must make our voices heard,” Starbuck wrote. “(CEO) Hal Lawton needs to understand that we don’t want our hard earned money spent on these woke priorities. If he supports this stuff then he should spend some of his $11M salary or tens of millions in stock on it instead of using the money we spend at Tractor Supply.”

In response, Tractor Supply said it was discontinuing the DEI efforts, is withdrawing its carbon emission goals and focus on both land and water conservation efforts and it would further focus on “rural America priorities” such as ag education, animal welfare, veterans causes and being a good neighbor.

The company said it would stop being involved in pride festivals and voting campaigns.

“This monumental change is thanks to all of you who supported my work exposing this, to the whistleblowers in Tractor Supply and my fellow farm owners who respectfully spoke up,” Starbuck wrote about Tractor Supply’s statement. “I’m working to get more information about these changes but this is a fantastic moment for the fight to banish wokeness, DEI and ESG from the workplace.”

In response to the changes at Tractor Supply, National Black Farmers Association President John Boyd called for Lawton’s resignation.

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