Wyoming Ranchers Cheer Tractor Supply For Ditching 'Woke' Goals After Taking $2B Hit

Wyoming ranchers applauded Tractor Supply's decision to eliminate DEI roles, quit sponsoring LGBTQ pride festivals, and drop carbon goals after a conservative outcry this week. The company took a $2.4 billion hit to its market cap in just one week.

Clair McFarland

June 28, 20244 min read

Tractor Supply Co. store in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Tractor Supply Co. store in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

After a conservative-led boycott campaign caused its market cap to plummet by more than $2 billion, Tractor Supply Co. vowed Thursday to stop pursuing left-leaning social and hiring goals and to refocus on marketing tractors and supporting rural America.

A handful of Wyoming ranchers say that’s great.

The farm and ranch supplier’s market cap took a roughly $2.4 billion dive from $31.2 billion on June 18 to $28.8 billion Thursday, after conservative filmmaker and activist Robby Starbuck launched an exposure campaign on X (formerly Twitter).

He posted screenshots and videos depicting the company’s support of LGBTQ activism events; a hiring emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); and other politicized maneuvers he characterized as "woke."

But Tractor Supply Co. changed course Thursday, issuing a statement vowing to do the following:

  • No longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign.
  • Refocus team member engagement groups on mentoring, networking and supporting the business,
  • Focus further on rural America priorities like agriculture education, animal welfare, veteran causes and “being a good neighbor,” and “stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns.
  • Eliminate DEI roles and retire DEI goals “while still ensuring a respectful environment,”
  • Withdraw its carbon emissions goals while focusing on land and water conservation efforts.

Starbuck told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that he started his boycott efforts in early June after a company whistleblower approached him.

"From there our research and reporting began," Starbuck added.

The tone of Tractor Supply's Thursday statement was conciliatory.

“We have heard from customers that we have disappointed them,” the company says. “We have taken this feedback to heart…We are always here and ready to serve you and your family with our legendary service for the life you love.”

Wyoming has eight Tractor Supply locations in the state including Rawlins, Gillette, Douglas, Casper, Cody, Sheridan, Cheyenne and Afton. 

Good Move

One Sheridan-area farmer and rancher, Gary Koltiska, said the company’s about-face is a good move.

“I don’t understand big businesses, I guess, well enough — why they want to start bullshit like that,” Koltiska told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday. “Then they say, ‘We won’t do that, spend money with us.’”

Koltiska said he’s shopped at his local Tractor Supply Co., though he didn’t realize the corporate level of the company had become so politicized.   

Koltiska’s wife, Vicki, chimed in.

“I don’t like being preached to socially,” she said. “Budweiser, it about broke them when they did the same thing. When are these companies going to learn?”

Then, the pair’s granddaughter and ranch manager Gabrielle Koltiska also joined the discussion.

Gabrielle said her grandparents are staunch conservatives, but they also have a gay grandson and they accept and love him. She said they don’t mind people living out their lives in whatever way suits them, they just don’t want to see private businesses push political conformity on everyone.

“It’s the shoving it down other people’s throats,” Gabrielle said. “That plays a role of turning people against each other as well.”

Gary Koltiska said if everyone went out to work hard each day, there wouldn’t be as much time for all this activism.

Tractor Supply Co. store in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Tractor Supply Co. store in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Political Deluge

State Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, is also a farmer and rancher by trade.

He said Tractor Supply’s change of heart is a “good move on their part” considering their rural consumer base.

“(In) rural communities … we roll up our sleeves and do the work regardless of someone’s identity,” said Boner.

Boner continued, saying that private companies’ tendency to jump into the political fray only adds to the flood of political chatter Americans endure every day.

And being inundated with politics every day can make serving in a public role look less appealing to many, he said.

“It becomes tiresome,” Boner added.

Shopping In Cheyenne

Shopping at a Tractor Supply Co. in Cheyenne Friday, Wayne Chase, of Potter, Nebraska, told Cowboy State Daily the company’s Thursday statement made him happy.

“They responded overnight, and I like that,” said Potter. “I was happy they immediately addressed it and said they were wrong.”

Potter said he loves the store and shops there whenever he’s near one of its outposts. He said he was surprised the company had pursued socially liberal activism at all, and assumed it did so because of overall corporate pressure.

Chase said that Tractor Supply “represents rural America, and that stuff isn’t what (rural America) is all about.”

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter