Right to RepairAEM’s Director of State Government Relations Stephanie See testified last week before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. The committee’s hearing focused on numerous consumer protection related bills, including two Right to Repair bills (S.166 and H.341).

See utilized the opportunity to engage with members of the Massachusetts committee on how AEM and its member companies support a consumers’ right to repair their own equipment. See stressed that current equipment manufacturers already provide the tools and information needed for diagnosis, repair and maintenance. She told members of the committee that over the past few years many OEMs have developed and offered enhanced diagnostic and repair tools to farmers.

Watch the testimony here with See's comments beginning at the 1:41 mark.

See briefed members of the committee through additional concerns AEM and our industry have with Right to Repair bills, like the committee considered last week. Modern equipment is significantly more complex and sophisticated, but the benefits to farmers are immense. The latest equipment offers farmers increased crop yields, fuel savings, reduced usage of pesticides and fertilizers, through developments in precision ag technology.

The hearing served as an opportunity for See to highlight several key issues the equipment industry faces, such as workforce shortages and supply chain issues. Despite equipment manufacturers and local dealers investing heavily into hiring and training service technicians, service times often increase during peak harvest for many farmers, a clear issue. See pointed out to members of the committee our industry needs more service technicians, because broken machinery during peak harvest can have an enormous negative impact on farmers. Equipment manufacturers and dealers both look for partnerships with local community colleges and trade schools to recruit more service technicians.

See concluded her testimony reiterating that equipment manufacturers support a consumers’ right to repair their own equipment, however legislation, like the committee was considering, will not accomplish its stated goal of reducing the time and expense for equipment repair.

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