FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Multiple Organizations
August 22, 2023
Contact: Levi Teitel, email@example.com, (248) 622-9910
Farmers, Organizations Call on Michigan Legislature to Pass Agricultural Right to Repair
HB 4673 would save farmers both time and money, benefitting rural farming communities
MICHIGAN — Today, 31 organizations, farmers, and farming advocates released a joint letter to the Michigan Legislature urging them to pass HB 4673, the Agricultural Equipment Repair Act, also known as Right to Repair. Sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chair State Rep. Reggie Miller (D – Van Buren Twp.), the bill seeks to ensure that farmers and ranchers in the state of Michigan have the right to decide who fixes the equipment they own — not corporations.
“As a fourth-generation family farmer, I’ve seen up close how wealthy corporations unfairly raise prices on products and equipment I need to grow food,” said Bob Thompson, president of the Michigan Farmers Union. “The state legislature has an enormous opportunity with HB 4673 to deliver for independent farmers, ranchers, and rural farming communities, saving us time and our hard-earned money. Let’s get the job done this year and pass Right to Repair.”
HB 4673 requires agricultural equipment manufacturers to provide tools and parts at a fair price as well as diagnostic information to farmers and independent repair shops. Currently, farmers face an enormous burden when their equipment breaks down or malfunctions because they may have to drive for hours to reach a dealer-authorized repair center and pay a small fortune for a simple fix. Instead, with this legislation, a farmer would have the option of taking their broken equipment to an independent repair center that exists locally, or repair it themselves.
“Passing Right to Repair legislation is imperative to the well-being of all farms, of any size or scale,” said Jennifer Silveri, co-executive director of Michigan Food and Farming Systems. “Farming is a time sensitive business and farmers cannot afford to waste time, energy, and exorbitant amounts of money hauling their tractors hundreds of miles to dealer repair shops during the harvest season. Let farmers and local mechanics fix their equipment close to home and at much lower prices so they can spend their time, energy, and money doing their job feeding our communities.”
Right to Repair is a popular issue among Michigan farmers and voters; a poll released by Progress Michigan in April found that 81 percent of voters support Right to Repair. In June, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on HB 4673, and advocates are urging the legislature to act on passing Right to Repair this fall.
“It’s time wealthy corporations stop gouging farmers and the folks those farmers grow food for,” said Sam Inglot, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Right to Repair is a commonsense policy that directly benefits the folks who grow our food. That’s why Michigan should join other states, like Colorado, in passing our own Right to Repair legislation.”