Conservative activist turns focus to John Deere policies



(The Center Square) – Two weeks after shining a light on Tractor Supply Co.’s corporate policies and sponsorships related to diversity, equity and inclusion, Robby Starbuck has taken aim at John Deere.

Starbuck, a 2022 Republican write-in candidate in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, posted his first set of issues with John Deere’s policies on Tuesday. His sunlight on Tractor Supply Co. drew response from the company changing policies.

Starbuck says John Deere, headquarters in Moline, Ill., is funding “pride events,” meaning those promoting homosexual activity; using preferred pronouns; and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion policies across the board in the company, including in its Latin America and India branches.

“What’s unknown is whether CEO John May is knowingly forcing these policies or if it’s gotten out of control and he’s out of the loop on how bad it is,” Starbuck wrote. “His response to this story will be very revealing as to the culpability in the implementation of woke policies.”

The Center Square was unsuccessful obtaining comment for this story from John Deere before publication.

Starbuck said Bill Gates is listed as John Deere’s largest shareholder, the company has implemented “Genderbread man” training and that it is using the “United for Equity” program while promoting what he called “bigotry against Christians.”

The accusations come as John Deere announced large layoffs despite reported net income of nearly $2.4 billion for the second quarter of 2024, which ended April 28.

Starbuck said his post was just the beginning on the subject, which will continue with company donations, hiring practices, causes it supported, and what its executives have said in interviews.

“John Deere seems to have forgotten who their customers are,” Starbuck wrote. “Having a farm myself, I’m disgusted that a once great American brand is now taking this turn to seemingly embrace leftist policies that are diametrically opposed to the values of most farmers.”

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