Colorado passes nation-leading agriculture equipment Right to Repair bill

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DENVER – The Colorado General Assembly passed the farm equipment Right to Repair bill, HB23-1011, which would require manufacturers of agricultural equipment to make available all materials needed to repair tractors and combines. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Brianna Titone and Ron Weinberg, and Senators Janice Marchman and Nick Hinrichsen, now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Colorado answered the call from CoPIRG and a wide range of agriculture and repair organizations. It is the first state to pass a tractor Right to Repair bill.

Nationally, Colorado has become a leader in the Right to Repair space. Last year, Colorado passed a Right to Repair for wheelchairs bill, which went into effect in January.

Here are statements from key stakeholders and legislative sponsors along the way:

“I’m proud Colorado is poised to be the first state to ensure farmers have access to the stuff they need to fix their equipment. For decades, if something you owned broke, you could fix it yourself, take it to an independent repair shop or go back to the dealer or manufacturer. Unfortunately, as more of our stuff, including agricultural equipment like tractors and combines, runs on software, manufacturers are able to lock us out, undermining the repair marketplace and leading to longer delays and inflated repair bills. Farmers should have the freedom to get their stuff fixed from whomever they trust.” – CoPIRG Executive Director Danny Katz

“Thanks to technological advancements in modern equipment, less than 2% of the U.S. population not only feeds the rest of the country but exports surplus to world markets. However, when this equipment breaks down, farmers and ranchers should have the ability to diagnose and repair their equipment themselves or through independent mechanics, not just through manufacturer authorized mechanics which are no longer located in small rural communities.” – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Chad Franke

“”When you buy something and a component breaks, you should be able to fix it. That’s as true for the farmers who produce our food and make agriculture Colorado’s largest industry as it is for people who rely on powered wheelchairs for mobility. Our farmers have a lot riding on their equipment—they deserve the ability to fix their own stuff, save time and money, and focus on the important aspects of their work.”” — State Representative Brianna Titone, a lead sponsor of both HB23-1011 and the 2022 powered wheelchair bill.

“The right to fix and maintain your own property, that’s what this bill ensures for farmers and ranchers. The right to have access to the tools and software they need to make timely repairs of their equipment or take it to someone they trust.” — Sponsor State Representative Ron Weinberg

“Family farmers and ranchers, like the ones I represent, need all the help they can get, and this bill is a great first step. A broken tractor or combine during harvest season can be devastating, and makes an already difficult job that much harder. Farmers should be able to apply know-how and elbow grease to fix their own equipment instead of being forced to use an authorized dealer. I am thrilled that our bill to keep operations running smoothly and save Colorado ag producers critical time and money is moving forward.” – Sponsor State Senator Janice Marchman.

“This bill gives farmers true ownership of their equipment. It allows them to retrieve data from their machines, and analyze it accordingly. It allows them to read diagnostics when things go wrong. It gives them the information they need to make a decision to fix their equipment themselves, contract an independent repairman, or call the licensed dealer. It puts them – literally and figuratively – back in the driver’s seat.” – Sponsor State Senator Nick Hinrichsen.