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Media Releases, Legislative News, Agricultural Updates
For Immediate Release: 9-20-2023 Contact: Bob Kjelland 970-397-0039
Congress will consider Right to Repair legislation that was introduced this week by Representatives Joe Neguse of Colorado and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington. As presented, 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.
This action puts Right to Repair on the national policy stage after Colorado lawmakers crafted and adopted a Right to Repair law earlier this year. “Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is incredibly grateful to Representatives Joe Neguse and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez for introducing Right to Repair legislation before the 118th Congress,” says RMFU President Chad Franke. “We have been a tireless advocating for farmers and ranchers on this issue for years and we are looking forward to farmers and ranchers around the country enjoying this freedom of choice that Colorado farmers and ranchers were granted earlier this year with the passage of similar legislation in the Colorado General Assembly.”
“Designing parts to have unique software instructions serves no real purpose other than forcing your customer to come back to the authorized shop for repairs”, continues Franke. “This bill would ensure that farmers and ranchers around the nation have the freedom to choose how to repair their own equipment without the burdensome restrictions that could leave their equipment down at a critical time for their operation. Right to Repair would ensure that other local mechanics would get access to the tools and information they need to complete repairs, giving farmers multiple options.”
This freedom to use a dealer mechanic, an independent mechanic, or repairing their own equipment is why RMFU supports this Right to Repair legislation.
RMFU member John Ellis welcomes the national movement to make farm equipment repairs more practical for producers. “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 by having access to independent repair providers in addition to the manufacturer’s authorized repair providers. There are many good reasons to have a national right to repair bill, one that comes to mind is the fact that many farmers buy machinery from dealers in states other than the one their principal farm is located. Often better deals can be made by purchasing machinery from a dealer in another part of the country, either because it is not something that is as popular there or the dealer has too many machines in stock and needs to move them. For whatever reason, when this happens, the local dealer, which itself may be 100 miles from the farm, has little interest in supporting a machine in which it made no money selling. By 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.”
RMFU members were in Washington, DC, last week to meet directly with senators and representatives on the need for a national right to repair law.
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