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Tractor Supply cuts DEI jobs, abandons climate goals in response to backlash; 'We have taken this feedback to heart'

(The Hill) – Home improvement and agriculture chain store Tractor Supply is eliminating its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and climate goals after weeks of conservative backlash. 

In a statement released Thursday, the company said it works hard to “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,” the Tennessee-based company said. 

The sign outside a Tractor Supply Company store in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)
The sign outside a Tractor Supply Company store in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

It added that the company will no longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign — an LGBTQ advocacy organization; eliminate DEI roles and retire all current DEI goals while still ensuring a respectful environment; and withdraw its carbon emission goals to focus on land and water conservation efforts. 

Much of the criticism Tractor Supply faced came from Robby Starbuck, a film director who ran for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district as a Republican write-in candidate in 2022. 

In a post on X earlier this month, Starbuck criticized the company for its diversity training, funding Pride events and “climate change activism.”

He also criticized investors, saying in a post earlier this week the “forced woke values by these entities must end.”

In its statement on Thursday, Tractor Supply said it would now redirect its focus on the priorities of rural America “including ag education, animal welfare, veteran causes and being a good neighbor and stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns.”

“Rural communities are the backbone of our nation and what make America great,” the company added. “We are honored to be a part of them.”

But Tractor Supply is already facing backlash for its decision. 

Tennessee state Sen. Charlene Oliver (D) criticized the company’s decision late Thursday. 

“Imagine being headquartered in the 9th wealthiest county in the nation while saying you’re the “largest supporter” of rural America where poverty is the worst,” she posted on X. 

“Also choosing hate and bigotry by announcing this the same month of Juneteenth and Pride is nasty work.”

California state Sen. Scott Wiener also accused Tractor Supply of giving in to the “right wing outrage bully machine.”

“The mob rule continues, at the expense of anyone who doesn’t fit into their 1950 whitewashed version of America,” said Wiener. 

Tractor Supply did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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