Right-wingers are now raging at a farm supply store – because they have LGBTQ+ staff initiatives

THe entrance to a tractor supply store with a tweet superimposed above it, the tweet says "It's time to expose Tractor Supply"

Rural retail chain company Tractor Supply are facing calls for a boycott for, amongst other things, donating money to diversity and inclusion causes, which included projects that support LGBTQ+ youth.

Right-wing activist Robby Starbuck, who directed the controversial, gender-critical, anti-LGBTQ+ documentary The War on Children, recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to call out Tractor Supply for their diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) work, including: “having Pride month decorations in their office.”

As well as complaining about Tractor Supply’s “LGBTQ+ training for employees, funding pride/drag events, they have a DEI Council, funding sex changes, climate change activism, pride month decorations in the office, DEI hiring practices and LGBTQ+ events at work,” Starbuck also singled out their donations to non-profits.

In a follow up tweet, he wrote: “Wow, Tractor Supply bragged in one of their yearly reports that they donated more than $570,000 to DEI, including LGBTQ+ YOUTH! Yes, Tractor Supply thinks kids can be trans and they support it by the looks of this. How many of their customers know this?”

He attached an image to the tweet, which seems to be a screenshot. It reads: “In 2021, Tractor Supply donated more than $570,000 to DE&I causes, benefitting veterans, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ youth, Hispanic Team Members, women and Black and African Americans.”

The screenshot appears to have been taken from a sustainability report released by Tractor Supply in 2022, titled “Stewards of Life Out Here“.

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Robby Starbuck is seen on set during taping of a show called "Candace" on July 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Robby Starbuck on set during taping of “Candace” on July 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Getty)

Starbuck described these donations as “woke priorities” in his lengthy tweet, which was accompanied by an over seven-minute long video where he speaks to camera about the rural “seed and feed” store. The video starts with Starbuck sharing pictures of Pride month screensavers on Tractor Supply’s in-house staff TVs.

The combined tweet and video has had over two million views on X so far.

The majority of replies to the tweet called for a boycott of Tractor Supply over their DEI practices, which are standard in most workplaces. One top reply says: “My husband was just looking at some fencing they have, well over 1000.00. Bet he changes his mind when I show him this later today.”

According to recent figures, many Fortune 500 companies in the US have DEI initiatives. In 2023, 154 Fortune 500 companies released diversity disclosures, nearly double the 79 of 2022, according to a report from marketing firm Purpose Brand. Whether Starbuck intends to go after all 154 of them remains to be seen.

Earlier this year, Robby Starbuck was strongly criticised for allegedly tricking a Nashville drag queen, Veronika Electronika – who works with children’s reading programme Drag Queen Story Hour Tennessee, into appearing in his The War on Children documentary.

She says she had been asked to do an interview about how the lives and mental health of LGBTQ+ people were being affected by bans and restrictions on drag performances and gender-affirming care.

Electronika shared emails from the production team with Rolling Stone, which show that when they first approached her, the producers offered her the opportunity to participate in an upcoming documentary “tentatively titled It Takes A Village from an award winning director.”

“Wait a minute. I know this f**ker”

Image shows Nashville drag queen Veronika Electronika in a colourful outfit with a hood pulled up over her hair, she is resting her head on her hand and looking into the camera.
Nashvillle drag queen Veronika Electronika (VeronikaElectronika.com)

She was told that It Takes A Village intended “to delve deeper [into] exposing how these recent drag bans and gender-affirming care bans have been made, look at how it has affected the mental health of trans people and look forward into what future progress will look and sound like.”

“When I saw Mr. Starbuck walk through the hallway, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. I know this f**ker,” Electronika told Rolling Stone, adding, “they tried to convince me to stay and I said, ‘You need to stop recording right now.’ The little red light kept going … and then they wouldn’t stop.” 

Tractor Supply is far from the only retail chain that has faced boycott calls over DEI and Pride initiatives in recent years, though a rural supply company is certainly an unusual target for the right.

In fact, just today, right-wingers decided to take aim at IKEA’s rainbow Pride charity cake. To mark Pride Month 2024, the UK branch of the Swedish furniture chain announced its popular rainbow cake is back in its restaurants and will be sold throughout June, with 100 per cent of the profits going to LGBT+ Switchboard.

Bigots, of course, were naturally outraged by the existence of this multi-coloured confectionery.

In February, anger was directed at UK retail company John Lewis, because it published a trans feature in its staff magazine – the feature was included to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month.

Now, it seems bigots are raging at… tractors. What’s next? We probably won’t have to wait long to find out.

PinkNews has reached out to Tractor Supply for comment.

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