Black Farmers Call for Tractor Supply CEO’s Resignation Over New Diversity Stance

After a controversial announcement by rural retail company Tractor Supply this week, black farmers are taking a stand against the company and its CEO.

Call for Resignation

Image Credit: Shutterstock / VAKS-Stock Agency

The National Black Farmers Association, a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families, has called for the CEO of Tractor Supply to step down.

End to DEI Initiatives

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

Last week the company, which has described itself as the largest rural farming retailer in the US, released a public statement announcing its intentions to eliminate all of its DEI – diversity, equity, and inclusion – initiatives, as well as its climate commitments.

Focusing on Business

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eric Glenn

Tractor Supply, which operates more than 2,200 stores across the US, will now focus on causes related to its business. It has cut all of its DEI roles in the company and will drop sponsorships of “nonbusiness activities” like Pride festivals and events.

Conservative Boycott is Successful

Image Credit: Shutterstock / max.ku

The decision was a result of a concentrated conservative boycott against the brand. Now it has received backlash from the other end of the political spectrum, as progressive organizations and advocates have slammed the retailer for its new stance.

Black Farming Organization Hits Back

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

One of these organizations is the NBFA, which described the DEI rollback as betraying efforts to improve race relations in rural America.

An “Appalling” Decision

Image Credit: Shutterstock / LightField Studios

“I was appalled by the decision,” said NBFA president and founder John Boyd Jr. “I see this as rolling back the clock with race relations — because the country is so divided on race, especially in rural America.”

Calling Out CEO

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Photo Smoothies

Boyd Jr., backed by the organization, is now calling on Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton, to formally resign from his position as the head of the company.

“They Don’t Want Out Business”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Microgen

The organization feels that Tractor Supply is implicitly telling Black farmers that “they don’t want our business,” according to Boyd Jr.

A Shock for Many

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

The announcement shocked many Black farmers who have been purchasing farming supplies and equipment from Tractor Supply for decades. Most of the organization’s 130,000 members live near Tractor Supply stores.

Customer and Shareholder

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss

Boyd Jr. himself is not only a customer, but a shareholder in the company. He claims he has spent more than $10,000 on cattle feed, fencing wire, and other Tractor Supply products since January.

Failed Attempts to Share Concerns

Image Credit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

The NBFA has attempted to contact Lawton directly to discuss the recent elimination of its DEI initiatives, with little success. Now, the organization has decided to go public with its concerns.

“Black Farmers Are Fighting Back”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / David Brickner

“He’s gone too far — and we have to let him know we’re not going to sit back and take this mess anymore,” Boyd Jr. said. “Black farmers are going to start fighting back. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Sending the Wrong Message”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

“This sends the wrong message to our country at a time when we’re going backward on race relations,” he added.

Considering a Boycott of Their Own

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vladimir Borovic

The organization is now waiting to see how the company responds to backlash over its decision in the coming days and may consider a counter-boycott if nothing changes. 

A Growing Trend

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

Boyd’s comment will likely strike a chord with other liberal critics, who have accused Tractor Supply of giving into conservative pressure and joining a growing trend of businesses turning away from social justice movements.

About-Turn for Tractor Supply

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Summit Art Creations

It is a significant pivot for the company, which has put a lot of time and funding into progressive campaigns in recent decades, affirming its commitments to diversity and inclusion, as well as ESG –  environmental, social, and governance – initiatives. 

Calling for Conservative Boycott

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yalcin Sonat

This all came to an end when conservative commentator Robby Starbuck took to the social media platform X to slam the farming retailer earlier this month, encouraging conservative consumers to boycott the company over its DEI commitments and “climate change activism.”

Taking the Feedback “to Heart”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / vectorfusionart

Over the course of two weeks, Tractor Supply was flooded with conservative criticism and its shares fell by 5%. “We have heard from customers that we have disappointed them,” the company responded. “We have taken this feedback to heart.”

Some Business Turn Away

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The NBFA is not the only company to take a bold and immediate stance against the Tractor Supply announcement. The Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary, a New York-based animal sanctuary spends an estimated $65,000 per year on feed and supplies from the retailer. Now they are looking for a new supplier.

“Basically a Hate Campaign”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

“It’s mind-boggling to me that a company would cave to basically a hate campaign,” Squirrelwood co-founder Beth Hyman told reporters. “Now they just have another boycott on their hands. We didn’t call for that, but obviously people are.”

21 Beliefs About the Bible That Are Actually False

Image Credit: Pexels / Pixabay

The Bible is one of the most discussed and debated books in history, yet many common beliefs about it are more myth than fact. How many of these misconceptions have you heard before? 21 Beliefs About the Bible That Are Actually False

21 Subtle Racisms That Are Commonplace in America

Image Credit: Shutterstock / AlessandroBiascioli

Racism in America isn’t always overt; it often hides in plain sight through subtle actions and attitudes. How many of these subtle racisms have you noticed around you? 21 Subtle Racisms That Are Commonplace in America

Only Legal in America: 21 Things You CAN’T Do in the Rest of the World

Image Credit: Pexels / Ivan Samkov

The U.S. dances to its own beat, especially when it comes to laws that make the rest of the world do a double-take. Here’s a lineup of things that scream “Only in America,” sticking strictly to what’s written in the law books. Ready for a tour through the American legal landscape that’ll leave you wondering if freedom might just be a bit too free? Only Legal in America: 21 Things You CAN’T Do in the Rest of the World

The post Black Farmers Call for Tractor Supply CEO’s Resignation Over New Diversity Stance first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss.