Tractor Supply® Turns Back On “Going Woke”

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS –  There is a saying going around the country: “Go woke, go broke,” something several companies have dealt with, most famously BudLight®, who lost massive amounts of sales and market share after teaming up with a trans-activist for a marketing campaign. 

Tractor Supply, beloved retailer for farmers and ranchers since 1938, had recently faced sinking stock prices amid calls for a boycott from its conservative customers. In online posts, it was revealed the Tennessee-based company with over 2,200 stores had been aggressively touting DEI (diversity, inclusion and equity) and support for LGBTQ and similar causes. 

One online commentator, in a post which went viral and was seen by millions, called the company out for: “LGBTQIA+ training for employees, funding pride/drag events, having a DEI Council, funding sex changes, climate change activism, pride month decorations in the office, DEI hiring practices and LGBTQIA+ events at work.

Amid growing concern from rural customers, upon which the company depends, Tractor Supply put out a statement, completely changing course and recognizing their policies were not in line or popular with many of their customers. 

The statement began by noting, “We are passionate about being good neighbors in our hometowns because without you, we would not be what we are. It is imperative to us that our customers’ hard-earned dollars are taking care of our Team Members and the communities we all love. As you supported us, we have invested millions of dollars in veteran causes, emergency response, animal shelters, state fairs, rodeos and farmers markets. We have also invested in the future of rural America. We are the largest supporter of FFA and have longstanding relationships with 4-H and other educational organizations.”

The letter went on to say, “We work hard to live up to our Mission and Values every day and represent the values of the communities and customers we serve. We have heard from customers that we have disappointed them. We have taken this feedback to heart.”

“Going forward,” the statement said, “We will ensure our activities and giving tie directly to our business. For instance, this means we will:

  1. No longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign
  2. Refocus our Team Member Engagement Groups on mentoring, networking and supporting the business
  3. Further focus on rural America priorities including ag education, animal welfare, veteran causes and being a good neighbor and stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns
  4. Eliminate DEI roles and retire our current DEI goals while still ensuring a respectful environment
  5. Withdraw our carbon emission goals and focus on our land and water conservation efforts”

While the move was applauded by many conservative pundits, it is still to be seen if efforts to boycott the business will move forward, in spite of the damage control and seemingly earnest efforts of the company to reverse course on their controversial support of certain political causes. 

The company’s stock price on June 18 was at $289.98, falling a week later when the scandal began to $264.56. The stock began to rally slightly after the release of the statement to around $270 per share. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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