In our continuing coverage of Brentwood’s 50th anniversary, we talked with Tractor Supply Company, one of the major sponsors of Brentwood’s anniversary celebrations this year. Tractor Supply Company is known for being invested in their community. As a matter of fact, a story on CNN.com in early 2019 noted their being honored by retail’s major trade organization as one of the companies shaping retail’s future. They know their customer well, and they are there to be helpful in making their lives easier.
We asked Mackenzie Goldman, a public relations specialist for the organization to tell us a little bit about the company and their involvement in the community.
Williamson Source: Tell me a little about how TSC got started.
Mackenzie Goldman: Tractor Supply Company was founded in 1938 by Charles E. Schmidt as a mail order tractor parts company. In 1939, the first Tractor Supply retail store was opened in Minot, North Dakota, and by 1964, the company operated 100 retail stores across the Midwest.
Today, we are the largest operator of rural lifestyle retail stores in the United States and are committed to being the most dependable supplier of basic maintenance products to home, land, pet and animal owners. We operate more than 1,800 stores in 49 states with approximately $8 billion in annual revenue. TSC stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities.
Williamson Source: Tell me a little about your target market.
Mackenzie Goldman: Tractor Supply serves a niche market of farmers, horse owners, ranchers, part-time and hobby farmers, and suburban and rural homeowners, as well as contractors and tradesmen. Our customers work hard, and they have come to rely on us for everything they need for the “Out Here” lifestyle.
As the inventors of the “do it yourself” trend, our customers handle practically every chore themselves, from repairing wells to building fences, welding gates together, constructing feed bins, taking care of livestock and pets, repairing tractors and trucks and building trailers for hauling.
Tractor Supply’s products include: clothing, equine and pet supplies, tractor/trailer parts and accessories, lawn and garden supplies, sprinkler/irrigation parts, power tools, fencing, welding and pump supplies, riding mowers and more.
Williamson Source: Tell me a little about your business philosophy.
Mackenzie Goldman: As a company focused on living out our Mission and Values, we are committed to “work hard, have fun and make money by providing legendary service and great products at everyday low prices.” This mission statement is supported by 10 values – ethics, respect, balance, winning attitude, communication, development, teamwork, change, initiative, and accountability – that drive every business decision we make and the way we interact with our customers and team members.
To ensure we’re there for our customers when they need us most, Tractor Supply developed its ONETractor strategy to focus on integrating our physical and digital store assets. Through our more than 1,800 locations and TractorSupply.com, our customers can shop our products anytime, anywhere and in way they choose.
Williamson Source: Why did you choose to locate your corporate offices in Brentwood?
Mackenzie Goldman: For Tractor Supply, having our Store Support Center based in Brentwood is an asset to our overall recruiting efforts and employment experience, and many of our team members, not only have the pleasure of working in Brentwood but also living here.
Williamson Source: How are you involved in the community?
Mackenzie Goldman: Tractor Supply is proud to be part of the “Out Here” lifestyle. Our mission to work hard, have fun and make money supports our commitment to giving back to the communities we serve and making a difference. To ensure we are helping the people we care most about – our customers and team members – we focus our corporate giving on three areas: Agriculture, Pets & Animals, and Community.
In the greater Middle Tennessee region, we’ve been able to support local 4-H and FFA chapters, nonprofit organizations and community events such as the Brentwood 50th Birthday Celebration. Our annual charitable campaign to benefit the United Way of Williamson County raised over $1 million, marking the first ever million-dollar United Way campaign in the history of Williamson County.
In the CNN story, Tractor Supply CEO Greg Sandfort speaks about the current disconnect between most retailers and their customers, while TSC makes a point of hiring their customers, people who have hands-on, real life experience working on a farm or a ranch. They know their clients are looking to them for advice on how to do everything from caring for animals to welding a fence. They also offer advice on their website through their blogs, videos and tip sheets.
TSC has chosen a target market that is growing, “hobby” farming. According to the article, the Department of Agriculture’s most recent research notes that roughly, ”… 800,000 American farms are run by people who had a primary occupation other than farming.” Recreational farms make up 38% of all farms in the United States.
When many retailers are struggling, TSC continues to grow. As they grow, they make a point of investing in the communities where their stores are located, including Brentwood.
“Thanks for reaching out,” said Goldman. “Tractor Supply has been delighted to be a part of the Brentwood 50th Anniversary this year!”