To the editor,

New York has one of the nation’s largest agriculture industries, where farmland covers 7.8 million acres of the state and over 35,000 farms are owned and operated. That’s why our state policymakers should only pursue legislation that will uplift New York’s hard-working farmers.  The “right to repair” bill that recently passed in the Senate is not an example of such legislation.

This “right to repair”  issue is being misconstrued by activists from the tech sector pushing for access to proprietary information that is contained in the code that allows modern equipment to operate more safely, more cleanly, and more efficiently. Everyone can agree that farmers can and should have the ability to repair their equipment if it breaks but safety and environmental controls exist to protect both farmers as well as the farms they operate.

Equipment manufacturers recognize that tractors with precision agriculture technology that allow farmers to operate their equipment remotely are trickier to repair than tractors produced decades ago. They have responded to farmers’ needs by releasing comprehensive diagnostic and repair manuals that allow farmers to repair their own equipment.

There is a reason every state that introduced “right to repair” legislation failed to sign it into law, and that’s because this policy isn’t right for the agriculture industry. Our state lawmakers like Senator Patti Ritchie know what is best to help our agricultural sector thrive and overly broad “right to repair” bills are not it.

Fred Beardsley

Chair, Oswego County Republican Committee

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