The Farmer’s Right to Repair Realized with New Memorandum of Understanding
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and John Deere signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week that ensures farmers’ and ranchers’ right to repair their own farm equipment and help John Deere protect its intellectual property. The MOU, signed at the 2023 AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the culmination of several years of discussions between AFBF and John Deere.
“AFBF is 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,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “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 ensure 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.”
David Gilmore, John Deere Senior Vice President, Ag & Turf Sales & Marketing, said, “This agreement reaffirms the longstanding commitment Deere has made to ensure our customers have the diagnostic tools and information they need to make many repairs to their machines. We look forward to working alongside the American Farm Bureau and our customers in the months and years ahead to ensure farmers continue to have the tools and resources to diagnose, maintain and repair their equipment.”
“Across the board, everyone should be pleased with this deal,” said Arizona Farm Bureau’s Outreach Director, Julie Murphree. Her team oversees the mix of member benefits that includes John Deere offerings. “If the MOU’s parameters can support farmers’ concerns about their right to repair and at the same time help John Deere protect its intellectual property rights, we have a win-win situation.”
The MOU sets parameters and creates a mechanism to address farmers’ concerns. John Deere commits to engaging with farmers and dealers to resolve issues when they arise and agrees to meet with AFBF at least twice per year to evaluate progress.
The agreement formalizes farmers’ access to diagnostic and repair codes, as well as manuals (operator, parts, service) and product guides. It also ensures farmers will be able to purchase diagnostic tools directly from John Deere and receive assistance from the manufacturer when ordering parts and products.
The MOU has the potential to serve as a model for other manufacturers and AFBF has already begun those discussions. An extensive team of advocates from both sides worked tirelessly on this MOU and are to be commended for their efforts.
Read the MOU here.