'Mission and values': Tractor Supply Co. abandons LGBT, progressive causes amid backlash

A Tractor Supply Co. store is located in Yreka, California.
A Tractor Supply Co. store is located in Yreka, California. | Public Domain

Tractor Supply Co. is abandoning its embrace of LGBT and progressive causes in the wake of consumer backlash.

The major retailer announced in a Thursday statement that moving forward, it will "ensure our activities and giving tie directly to our business." The chain of more than 2,200 stores employing 50,000 workers indicated that its actions stem from a desire 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," the statement asserted. "We have taken this feedback to heart."

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The company listed its steps to assuage its customers' concerns, highlighting its intent to "no longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign," referring to an LGBT advocacy organization that gives businesses ratings based on their stances toward LGBT customers and employees. 

The company will also "further focus on rural America priorities including [agricultural] education, animal welfare, veteran causes and being a good neighbor and stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns."

Additional commitments made by Tractor Supply Co. include working to "eliminate [diversity, equity and inclusion] roles and retire our current DEI goals while still ensuring a respectful environment" and vowing to "withdraw our carbon emission goals and focus on our land and water conservation efforts."

"We will continue to listen to our customers and Team Members. Your trust and confidence in us are of the utmost importance, and we don't take that lightly," the company insisted. 

Tractor Supply Co. first found itself subject to negative headlines and consumer backlash after conservative influencer Robby Starbuck posted on social media on June 6 that the company has "LGBTQIA+ training for employees," funds "pride/drag events," has a "DEI council," funds "sex changes," embraces "climate change activism" and "pride month decorations in the office," puts on "LGBTQIA+ events at work" and engages in "DEI hiring practices."

His post has been viewed over 2.8 million times with over 23,000 likes and 13,000 tweets. 

His post declared, "It's time to expose Tractor Supply." Acknowledging that the chain is one of conservatives' "most beloved brands," he asked a rhetorical question, "what do they REALLY stand for under [CEO] @hallawton's leadership?"

Starbuck also took issue with CEO Hal Lawton expressing approval of posts "attacking unvaccinated people" and former ESPN reporter Allison Williams, who quit her job at ESPN due to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

"I take no pleasure in bringing this all to light," Starbuck insisted. "I'm a Tennesseean who loves to support TN companies but as a proud Tennesseean I know these woke priorities don't align with our state or @TractorSupply's customer base."

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

Starbuck urged concerned customers to refrain from taking it out on their "local store" and instead contact the corporate office to share their distaste for the company's embrace of LGBT ideology and other "woke" priorities. He urged his followers to "[buy] what you can from other places until Tractor Supply makes REAL changes and shows that they respect the majority of their customers enough to not spend the money we give them on causes we're deeply opposed to."

After Tractor Supply signaled its intention to make changes, Starbuck cheered the company's enactment of "the most dramatic policy reversal I've ever seen" as a "massive victory for sanity and the single biggest boycott win of our lifetime."

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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