RELEASE: Colorado legislature passes first-ever tractor Right to Repair bill

Media Contacts
Kevin O'Reilly

Former Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair, PIRG

DENVER – The Colorado Legislature passed the Consumer Right to Repair Agricultural Equipment Act (HB23-1011) on Tuesday, making it the first state legislature to send such a bill to a governor’s desk.
“For farmers, simply getting access to all the tools needed to fix their tractors has been a tough row to hoe. That makes this historic victory sweeter than summer corn,” said PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly. “With this bill, Colorado legislators are giving farmers the repair relief they deserve. But farmers across the country should know: This is just the start.”

If signed, this legislation will require John Deere and other farm equipment manufacturers to share access to what farmers and independent shops need to fix tractors, combines and other farm equipment. For decades, equipment manufacturers have withheld the software tools necessary to make many repairs on farm equipment from farmers and independent mechanics, leaving farmers no choice but to take their equipment back to the dealership. “Out to Pasture,” a report released by U.S. PIRG Education fund on Tuesday, found that Right to Repair laws could save U.S. farmers $4.2 billion per year.

“Electronics have been a blessing and a curse for farmers. The benefits of precision agriculture have come with software shackles that took away agency and local independence, imperiling the future of family farms. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, and this law goes a long way towards making ownership work the way we all expect,” said iFixit CEO Kyle Weins.

The bipartisan farm repair legislation was brought forward by Rep. Brianna Titone (D-Arvada), who also championed the state’s successful wheelchair Right to Repair legislation last year, along with Rep. Ron Weinberg (R-Fort Collins), and Sens. Nick Hinrichsen (D-Pueblo) and Janice Marchman (D-Loveland). It was supported by CoPIRG, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colorado Department of Agriculture, a number of in-state commodity groups and

“Everyone who eats will benefit from this law. Farmers will have more timely options for repair, which will make it easier to use high-tech products which, in turn, enable more productive farms,” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of “It will also help align the industry of agriculture with other products using technology-enabled products such as motor vehicles, trucks, wheelchairs and cell phones. We should all be able to fix everything, everywhere, all the time.”

Colorado continued its leadership on Right to Repair issues, following up on its passage of the first-ever Right to Repair law for powered wheelchairs last year.

“Passage of agricultural Right to Repair legislation, HB 1011, in Colorado goes a long way to help solve significant issues for both producers, technicians, and dealers,” said Board Member and Agricultural Repair Advocate Willie Cade. “This legislation supports the great American tradition of competitive markets by expanding repair opportunities of equipment owners. This legislation also gives technicians the ability to freely compete for jobs or to start their own business and not be chained down. Robust, fair, and competitive markets are fundamental to who we are here in America.”

John Deere announced a new agreement with American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in January to expand access to repair materials, but PIRG and other repair advocates noted significant drawbacks to that agreement. In March, CNH Industrial announced its own MOU with AFBF that closely mirrors the Deere agreement.

“The ‘pinky swear’ MOUs signed by Deere and Case New Holland simply weren’t getting the job done. By passing a real Right to Repair, Colorado lawmakers are setting the standard for what Right to Repair can look like across the country,” O’Reilly added. “We are grateful to the sponsors of HB23-1011 for their leadership on agricultural Right to Repair, as well as National Farmers Union and its states groups for being a key partner in this push. This first-in-the-country win doesn’t happen without them and our other repair allies.”

Over the last five years, PIRG has advocated for universal repair rights, and the end to manufacturer-imposed barriers to repair. U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s research has demonstrated how modern tractors are engineered to thwart independent repair, why farmers broadly support Right to Repair and how dealership consolidation further erodes farmers’ repair choices. PIRG has worked closely with National Farmers Union to collect testimonials from farmers that show the harm caused by these restrictions, making a strong case for reforms.