John Deere and The American Farm Bureau Federation recently reached an agreement allowing farmers the right to repair their equipment.

Agriculture in Montana is just that. A culture. The whole state revolves around it. Did you know we are one of the top ten states for the production of beef, honey, alfalfa hay, sheep and lambswool, sugar beets, and wheat?

With all that agricultural production, farmers and ranchers rely on a myriad of equipment, and sometimes that equipment is going to break down. I don't know one farmer/rancher that isn't handy with a wrench, and unless it was a huge repair, couldn't fix it themselves. Some good ol' bailing twine and duct tape usually did the trick. Well unbeknownst to them, by fixing their John Deere tractor themselves, they were breaking the purchase agreement.

Many large companies require you to use their approved parts and repair centers to fix your stuff. It sounds like a scam to get more money from you, and for the most part, it is. However, some of the reasons to make sure you use approved parts and centers to fix your stuff is to protect their intellectual property, which is understandable.

One of the biggest "right to repair" cases came about with Apple, and in 2021 they finally agreed to let the user/owner repair their own apple product by giving them access to genuine apple parts and tools. 

The right to repair should be a no-brainer. If you purchase a product, it's yours. You shouldn't be told how to fix it or what to do with it. Farming and ranching in Montana is hard, expensive work. Fixing your own equipment should be every Montanan's right, and at least with John Deere equipment, now it is.

Read the full John Deere/AFBF right-to-repair agreement here. 

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