REPORT: Beloved ‘Conservative’ Company Goes Woke, Betrays Rural Base


Over the past few weeks, conservative consumers shifted their ire from Bud Light and Target towards Chick-fil-A and Tractor Supply for their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. Now, it’s John Deere, another company deeply rooted in America’s rural communities, that has come under the microscope for similar reasons. The company, traditionally celebrated for its commitment to these communities, has implemented DEI initiatives that have sparked major backlash from its conservative base.

John Deere, known for its iconic green tractors and a long-standing symbol of American agricultural prowess, has taken actions that have left many in its base feeling betrayed. The company has embraced several DEI initiatives, sparking a backlash among a significant portion of its customer base. The unrest began when a video by influencer Robby Starbuck went viral, exposing the company’s “woke” policies.

According to Starbuck, these include sponsoring a Pride event aimed at young children, implementing gender identity training, and encouraging employees to use preferred pronouns in all communications. The company has also been highlighted for its high score on the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign, fueling the discontent among its base.

Starbuck’s report detailed a list of grievances, from the sponsorship of events and trainings that promote concepts many find controversial, to changes in corporate culture that seem to prioritize identity politics over traditional business practices. He noted, “John Deere has been one of the most beloved brands by conservative farmers but recently on CEO John May’s watch, they’ve gone woke.”


These initiatives include funding a pride event for children as young as three, implementing “Genderbread Man” training to discuss gender fluidity, and encouraging employees to list their preferred pronouns in all communications. Additionally, the company has participated in programs like United Way’s 21-day “United For Equity” challenge, which promotes works by authors such as Ibram Kendi and encourages engagement with topics many find controversial.

These DEI initiatives also include the celebration of their accounting and finance team completing the “United For Equity” program, which endorses materials that some argue promote an anti-capitalist and racially divisive agenda. All of this is compounded by the company’s recent decision to lay off U.S. workers and shift production to Mexico.

The John Deere diversity page reads: “We encourage employees to use their personal pronouns (such as he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) in internal and external communications, including email correspondence and email signatures.”

“Not only is this a sign of mutual respect, it’s practical for our global company. With employees and customers on six continents, sharing our pronouns and respecting one another’s helps foster a sense of belonging for all, since the use of gendered nouns varies across cultures and individuals,” their website states.

John Deere is not the only company to face the noise as of late. In late June, Tractor Supply Company, the national retailer of farm supplies, had to issue a sweeping apology to its customer base after facing a storm of criticism over its DEI initiatives. The company announced it will also cease sponsoring non-business-related events like pride festivals and voting campaigns. Additionally, Tractor Supply is shifting its environmental focus from carbon emission targets to land and water conservation efforts.

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Scoop Diggins