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Agricultural Right to Repair

Replacing broken technology  tends to be a hassle and is quite expensive. Regardless of whether it was your fault or simply natural causes, repairing a product typically involves taking it to their nearest repair station and having a company employee repair it for a hefty fee. In the past, when devices broke, individuals would be able to purchase replacement parts and repair the device themselves, avoiding the hassle and fees associated with a repair station. However, corporations are trying to stop these efforts, making it difficult for consumers to self-repair. Consumer groups are pushing to stop corporation overreach and keep it easy to repair devices under the “right to repair” movement.

For most, reading that first paragraph would likely bring smartphones or game consoles to mind. However, there is a lesser known area where the right to repair has become much more prevalent - agriculture. Rather than smartphones, consumers are fighting for permission to repair their tractors. Farmers have to take their tractors to repair stations whenever they are broken, resulting in steadily increasing fees. 

Thankfully, the right to repair movement has made progress! Thanks to active customer groups, consumers who understand the problem within their tractors and the parts required to repair them are able to take steps to repair equipment themselves, avoiding high expenses. However, a new issue has appeared as a result - companies withholding diagnostic software from consumers, making repairs unnecessarily difficult. Consumers are spending hours examining their machine just to find a 5-minute repair that would be easily discovered with a diagnostic system.

This is where the right to repair movement currently stands: individuals are allowed to make repairs to their equipment, but are not given access to tools or software to help diagnose problems. These tools are kept exclusively at repair centers, out of the reach of consumers. The right to repair movement is currently being pushed on both sides - in the future, we may see these tools distributed to individuals, or we may see organizations take away further abilities from the public.



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