The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) along with equipment manufacturer John Deere have signed a memorandum of understanding that will ensure that farmers carry the right to repair their own farm equipment.
The agreement will also allow farmers to find an independent technician potentially opening up the space for more independent repair services to open up to give farmers more flexibility over repairs and cost.
Equipment manufactures like John Deere have required those in agriculture to use their parts and services for repairs. Only authorized dealers had the access to tools and the complex computer systems including such advances as GPS-guided combines and tractors.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall the organization was "pleased to announce this agreement with John Deere. It addresses a long-running issue for farmers and ranchers when it comes to accessing tools, information and resources, while protecting John Deere’s intellectual property rights and ensuring equipment safety.”
Duvall said, “A piece of equipment is a major investment. Farmers must have the freedom to choose where equipment is repaired, or to repair it themselves, to help control costs. The MOU commits John Deere to ensuring farmers and independent repair facilities have access to many of the tools and software needed to grow the food, fuel and fiber America’s families rely on.”
The organization hopes that the agreement will serve as a model for other equipment manufactures to sign similar memorandums of understanding.