AFBF/John Deere MOU allows farmers to repair equipment
Posted on Jan 11, 2023 at 19:00 PM
Farmers and independent mechanics can now repair John Deere equipment thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) the American Farm Bureau Federation and John Deere have signed. The agreement is the culmination of several years of discussions between AFBF and John Deere.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and David Gilmore, John Deere Senior Vice President of Ag & Turf Sales & Marketing, signed the MOU Jan. 8 at the AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“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 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.”
Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall is one of four state Farm Bureau presidents who served on the advisory board that gave input on the MOU. Securing right to repair access for farmers has been a priority issue for Georgia Farm Bureau for several years. Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue, California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson, and Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins also served on the MOU advisory board.
McCall praised the Right to Repair agreement with John Deere.
"The Memo of Understanding is a working document that will help farmers who use John Deere equipment expedite any repairs on their important investments that may come up. I am extremely proud of the work the Georgia Farm Bureau Public Policy team did to assist producers in getting this document executed. Our staff spent many hours working with folks at AFBF in D.C. to make certain this had a positive outcome,” McCall said. “I am now hopeful other manufacturers will follow suit and see the advantage of working with us to supply food and fiber to the world."
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.
“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,” said David Gilmore, John Deere Senior Vice President, Ag & Turf Sales & Marketing. “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.”
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.
Farm Bureau leaders say the MOU with John Deere has the potential to serve as a model for other manufacturers and AFBF has already begun those discussions.
Legislation regarding right to repair issues is pending in several states, but Farm Bureau leaders say the organization preferred to find a solution within the industry to have one set of guidelines for equipment owners nationwide rather than a patchwork set of laws that vary by state.
To read the MOU visit https://gfb.ag/afbfjdmou.