Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and the Tractor Supply Company Foundation announced an $850,000 donation to American Farmland Trust (AFT) in celebration of the company’s 85th anniversary.
The donation will support AFT’s Brighter Future Fund, providing 85 grants of $10,000 each to help farmers improve farm viability; access, transfer or permanently protect farmland; and adopt regenerative agricultural practices. Applicants may include one or more individual farmer(s) or farm families. Grants will primarily be awarded to those who have been historically underserved or lack access to traditional methods of funding. Applications open on July 1.
“Agricultural communities are the foundation of Tractor Supply’s 85 years in business, and we are delighted to give back to them as we celebrate this milestone,” said Hal Lawton, president and CEO of Tractor Supply. “This donation is an expression of gratitude to our customers and the communities we call home. It is also critical to fulfilling our duty as responsible stewards of the environment as America’s farmers play a key role in helping protect our natural resources. We’re honored to contribute to AFT’s important work, ensuring that future generations can live Life Out Here.”
The $850,000 donation is Tractor Supply’s most significant gift to AFT to date. The company first partnered with AFT in 2020 through the Farmer Relief Fund at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tractor Supply also donated to AFT’s Brighter Future Fund in 2021 and 2022. Tractor Supply’s support of the Brighter Future Fund builds on initial underwriting from Tillamook County Creamery Association.
“AFT is grateful for Tractor Supply’s generous gift and the significant impact these funds will have for awardees. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers work hard and face daily obstacles related to weather, changing economic forces, and the rising costs of land and inputs. AFT just reached $5 million in grants awarded to farmers and ranchers to advance our mission to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land,” said John Piotti, AFT president and CEO. “AFT’s grants help drive new solutions for resolving key challenges facing our society by increasing the resilience of farms to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening local food systems, creating greater equity in opportunities for underserved farmers, ensuring the availability of sufficient clean water and habitat for threatened wildlife, and improving farm viability and community vitality.”
Since 2020, AFT has made grants to farmers and ranchers in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Past Brighter Future Fund recipients include:
- Rebecca Stimpert of Heartland Farm in Bucklin, Kansas, whose family raises cucumbers, summer squash, beets, beans, tomatoes and okra to make and sell 15 kinds of pickles. Those sales finance the Farm Service Agency loan used to purchase their farmland, which had been in her husband’s family for generations. Additional funding will help replace inefficient and outdated fertilization and irrigation systems and support the purchase of new farming equipment.
- Haydee Borrero of Sheepy Hollow LLC in Ithaca, New York, who runs amixed-use farm as the sole full-time worker. Brighter Future Fund support allowed Haydee to purchase a handling system to conduct routine health checks and treatment protocols for her flock of American Romney sheep. These sheep can grow to be more than 220 pounds, making them unwieldy to manage. The handling system will help make the farm a safer workplace and a more efficient livestock producer.
- Rafael Vencio of AmBoy Urban Collective LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who farms a quarter acre of land at Hilltop Urban Farm Incubator as part of a four-year tenure. He is working on growing Asian cultivars and heirloom varieties to introduce Filipino cuisine to the community. Rafael plans touse the funds for capital costs to maintain the soil and install drip irrigation and fencing. He will also use it toward transaction costs in securing the lease for the year.Agriculture is one of Tractor Supply’s four focus pillars of corporate giving, with an emphasis on supporting agriculture education for future generations through FFA and 4-H. The company also supports organizations and programs that focus on pets and companion animals; land and nature conservation; and community outreach including veterans causes and disaster relief. To learn more about Tractor Supply’s commitment to these areas, please visit TractorSupply.com/Community.
About The Tractor Supply Company Foundation
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation is committed to supporting vibrant rural communities for all by investing in the future of the Out Here Lifestyle through today’s youth and being a good neighbor in the communities Tractor Supply calls home. Founded in 2020, the Foundation’s priority areas include supporting agriculture education initiatives through longstanding partnerships with FFA and 4-H, caring for pets and animals and preserving land for future generations. The Foundation expands upon the charitable work of Tractor Supply Company, supporting causes that are important to customers and Team Members. In 2022, the Company donated over $15 million to charitable causes through direct giving, sponsorships, fundraisers and more. To learn more about The Tractor Supply Company Foundation, visit Corporate.TractorSupply.com/Community.
About Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, has been passionate about serving its unique niche, targeting the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle, for 85 years. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service for the Out Here lifestyle. With more than 50,000 Team Members, the Company’s physical store assets, combined with its digital capabilities, offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday low prices they deserve. As of December 31, 2022, the Company operated 2,066 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, a consumer mobile app and an e-commerce website at www.TractorSupply.com. In October 2022, Tractor Supply acquired 81 stores from Orscheln Farm and Home that will be rebranded to Tractor Supply by the end of 2023.
About American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. Learn more about AFT’s grantmaking and ways you can support at farmland.org/grantmaking.