BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Tractor Supply Company, a rural lifestyle retailer, is joining the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition to bring high-speed internet infrastructure to rural areas.
By joining the coalition, Tractor Supply will look to leverage its resources to help bridge the rural digital divide. Through the Tractor Supply Company Foundation, the Company will donate $1 for every download of its mobile app before the end of the year, up to $1 million, to the efforts of the American Connection Project to close the digital divide. The initiative is one of several the company is pursuing in its effort to increase internet connectivity in rural communities across the U.S.
“As the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, Tractor Supply is committed to supporting those who live and love this lifestyle,” said Hal Lawton, President and CEO of Tractor Supply. “Internet connectivity is vital to conducting business, accessing healthcare and learning across America, yet our rural communities seldom have it. Our nation relies heavily on these communities, so it is imperative we all work together to ensure they have what they need to thrive. By joining the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition and participating in these initiatives to close the digital gap, we are striving to do just that.”
The Federal Communications Commission estimates that roughly 18 million Americans lack access to broadband, the majority of whom are in rural America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, roughly 60% of farmers in the U.S. lack sufficient connectivity to run their business, while 25% of farms have no internet access whatsoever. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet connectivity has become even more important, providing the primary link to business transactions, online classes, telehealth appointments, social interactions and news.
Tractor Supply joins more than 100 organizations from multiple industries including agriculture, tech, finance, healthcare, education and more, who are members of the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition, which was spearheaded by farmer-owned cooperative Land O’Lakes, Inc. Officially launched in July 2020, the Coalition spans organizations across multiple industries, who are dedicated to helping close America’s digital divide.
Tractor Supply operates a distribution center in Casa Grande that employs more than 300.