Tractor Supply and Solutions for “Life In There”

Kevin Folta
3 min readJun 29, 2022

A Facebook Ad, a Major Retailer, a Stance on Abortion?

Tractor Supply is that last store you pass as you exit an urban area. The store on the edge of civilization stocks a complete line of stuff for the rural consumer. As someone that lives out in the boonies, I can buy an E6011 welding rod, a new PTO shaft, and a bottle of goat dewormer in one stop. It’s like Wal Mart and Dollar General had a baby and abandoned it in Mayberry.

And I say all of this with love. I spend about a thousand bucks a month there on animal feed and other farm sundries. The folks at my local Tractor Supply in Williston, FL are first rate.

That’s why their Facebook ad was shocking.

Random Image or a shout out to the Supreme Abort?

You cannot convince me that this was anything but deliberate. The pictured item is a livestock birthing handle, a tool used to liberate a mammal from it’s uterine trappings. No big deal if abortion was not the topic du jour.

But with a controversial Supreme Court decision overriding the medical decisions of physicians and personal reproductive choices of women, it is at least in poor taste if not a blatant in-your-face victory slap. With safe and affordable options for termination of unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy now criminalized, desperate women are likely to resort to dangerous home remedies, which may include physical removal of the fetus. In the 1960’s and 70’s the coat hanger was often a symbol of women’s reproductive choice.

Back then dangerous, unlicensed, mechanical abortions were a thing, and potentially executed with the use of a coat hanger. Apparently terminating a pregnancy used the same technology as popping the door lock on your Chevelle if you locked your keys inside.

A Google Image search shows thousands of examples of parallel symbols representing reproductive choice.

My guess is that someone in their social media ad department was feeling like they needed to make a statement, and pulled this image to represent the company’s ethos. In a store that sells 40,000 items from miniature marshmallows, to Pabst Blue Ribbon hats, to Wooly Booger Deestone D930 Stryker tires, it can’t be coincidence.

Maybe they need a new ad agency. Maybe they need to carefully consider alternative interpretations of the messaging within their ads. Support or don’t support the SCOTUS decision this is truly too soon. A major corporation does not benefit from insensitivity towards those affected by government-imposed medical policy, even if it is intended as a political cudgel to excite a loyal rural base.

Folks like me just think its awful, and we’re the fat part of the curve. You can do better Tractor Supply.



Kevin Folta

Professor, podcast host, fruit tree grower, keynote speaker, good trouble.