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In rural America, right-to-repair laws are the leading edge of a pushback against growing corporate power


By Leland Glenna Penn State 

Farmers had fewer options when it came to repairs as tractors got more sophisticated in the past 20 years. Farmers have had to wait for authorized dealers from the company to arrive rather than hiring repair shops. Repairs can take several days and often result in lost time or high costs.

A new memorandum of understanding between the country’s largest farm equipment maker, John Deere Corp., and the American Farm Bureau Federation is now raising hopes that U.S. farmers will finally regain the right to repair more of their own equipment.

Supporters of right-to repair laws believe that they are trying to slow down the progress of efforts to get right-torepair legislation around the country.

John Deere promised to provide manuals, diagnostics, and parts to farmers and independent repair shops under the terms of the agreement. But there’s a catch – the agreement isn’t legally binding, and, as part of the deal, the influential Farm Bureau promised not to support any federal or state right-to-repair legislation.

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