Gluesenkamp Perez and Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ensure the Right to Repair Agricultural Equipment

Sep 20, 2023
Press

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez hosts a listening session with farmers and producers in Battle Ground in April.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), along with Reps. Joe Neguse (CO-02), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), introduced the Agricultural Right to Repair Act, a bill to establish a comprehensive framework for the right to repair of agricultural equipment.

The legislation defines what type of information Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are required to provide to make repair accessible. If the OEM does not have the digital or physical tools available, they are required to provide sufficient information to create the tools.

The bill also gives the Federal Trade Commission the ability to enforce these requirements and the ability to make a rule to assist in the implementation of these requirements.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

The legislation is endorsed by the National Famers Union, PIRG, and Farm Action Fund.

“I bought a three-year-old John Deere 90-horsepower tractor. Within five minutes of using it, a yellow triangle lit up on the dash. Not being able to get diagnostic information about the error has disrupted my ability to farm … and a service appointment was available weeks away. I had to use a RELIABLE 1965 tractor to finish the job” said Rob Baur, a farmer in Ridgefield, Washington. “I need a way for me or an independent mechanic to get the error code and decode it to get information about the problem.”

“We need a national Right to Repair law so that farmers and ranchers around the country have more options to fix their equipment in a timely manner during vital periods for their operations,”
said John Ellis, a farmer in Boulder, Colorado. “Having a national right to repair law, the farmer can get the software needed to diagnose the problem and purchase the necessary repair part from whatever source that has the part and either install it on the farm or have an independent repair shop do the work.”

“In farming, a tight window to plant or harvest is a fact of life. If my tractor breaks, I need to fix it – and fast. But equipment manufacturers are preventing farmers and independent mechanics from completing certain repairs on our tractors and combines, forcing us to go to the dealership. That’s why I want the Right to Repair,”
said Dennis Kellogg, a farmer in Michigan. “Thank you, Rep. Slotkin, for introducing legislation that will guarantee farmers fair and affordable access to repair information and tools.”

“This bill will help farmers do a lot more than just save money on a repair bill. Farmers operate in windows of opportunity sent by the weather. When key equipment is down you can easily lose that window. Nothing is more aggravating than having to wait two or three days for a service tech to get there because they are understaffed and overloaded at the dealership,”
said William Biscoe, a farmer in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. “The Agricultural Right to Repair Act is a commonsense solution to help ensure farmers and ranchers are able to access the tools, technology and expertise needed to stay in the fields and produce the nation’s food supply. We thank Congresswoman Spanberger for helping lead this effort.”

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