Black Farmers’ Association, Tractor Supply

Black Farmers’ Association Wants Tractor Supply CEO Out Amid Eliminated DEI Efforts

Just giving in to hate.....

The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) is calling for Tractor Supply Co.’s CEO to step down after the company announced it will eliminate most of its corporate diversity and climate advocacy efforts.

The company made a public announcement on June 27 stating it is cutting all diversity, equity and inclusion roles, eliminating sponsorships of “non-business activities” like Pride festivals, and goals to diminish carbon emissions. Conservative advocates ridiculed the company, which sells a range of products, including farming equipment, claiming it has become too socially inclusive. 

However, NFBA and critics alike feel the company and leader, Hal Lawton, are giving into the status quo and hate. “I was appalled by the decision,” president and founder of the National Black Farmers Association, John Boyd Jr., said. 

“I see this as rolling back the clock with race relations — because the country is so divided on race, especially in rural America.”

DEI programs heightened in corporate America during the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Before the announcement, Tractor Supply was working diligently to appeal to a younger audience and consumers. However, after the Supreme Court overturned affirmative action in 2023, a number of major corporations and educational institutions listened to their constituents who pushed back on the policies

Tractor advised the changes were made after hearing feedback from disappointed customers that was taken “to heart.”

“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 said.

According to The Washington Post, loyal customers of the brand have already decided to take their business elsewhere, including New York-based animal sanctuary Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary. Co-founder Beth Hyman – a member of the LGBTQ+ community – first heard of the company’s decision after her brand supporters reached out inquiring if she was going to make a statement. 

After lingering on it, Hyman decided to go to her local store and speak to a manager she had worked with for years. She then said the sanctuary could no longer support Tractor Supply – after spending $65,000 there annually – if the announcement continued to reflect those beliefs. The brand continued to speak out against the company with a post on X, which has been liked over 31,000 times. “Today, we met with our branch manager. We explained that we cannot support Tractor Supply any longer. He was horrified. He had no knowledge of this drastic shift in policy,” the post read. 

“Hey TSC, think you might want to let your employees know. We never asked for a pride flag out front. We do expect respect and inclusion. You have lost our business and every shred of respect we might have had. Out Here, WE DESERVE BETTER.”

Boyd feels the company is sending the wrong message. After seeing White farmers “spit in Black farmers’ faces and call them the n-word,” Boyd said “we’re just going backwards.” 

However, other critics feel decisions such as this will be a no-win situation for either party. Allen Adamson, co-founder of marketing consultancy Metaforce, touched on the fallout, calling it the “perfect example of how the increasing split in the country — politically and ideologically — have made it really hard to run consumer-facing businesses.”

“No matter which way you go on this, you’re going to upset big chunks of customers,” Adamson said. “No company wants to be a target of negativity on social media. It’s a no-win situation.