Black farmers’ association calls for Tractor Supply CEO’s resignation after company cuts DEI efforts

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By Wyatt Grantham-Philips and Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Tractor Supply
The National Black Farmers Association is calling on Tractor Supply’s president and CEO to step down, days after the rural retailer announced that it would be dismantling an array of its corporate diversity and climate advocacy efforts. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Black Farmers Association called on Tractor Supply’s president and CEO Tuesday to step down after the rural retailer announced that it would drop most of its corporate diversity and climate advocacy efforts.

The resignation demand emerged as Tractor Supply, which sells products ranging from farming equipment to pet supplies, faces a deepening backlash over its decision, which itself came after conservative activists spoke out against the company’s work to be more socially inclusive and to curb climate change.

In a public announcement last week, the company said it would eliminate all of its diversity, equity and inclusion roles, end sponsorships of “nonbusiness activities” like Pride festivals, and withdraw its goals for reducing carbon emissions. Critics of the new position argue that Tractor Supply is giving in to hate and harming its customers by abandoning crucial principles.

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

Tractor Supply declined to comment further when reached on Tuesday.

Learn more about Tractor Supply and its relationship with customers.

Black farmers face disadvantages compared to their white peers.

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