Ag Industry veterans launch Intelligent Agricultural Solutions
Barry Batcheller, founder of Appareo Systems, LLC and Howard Dahl, co-founder of Amity Technology have formed a new company combining Amity's agriculture industry success with the aerospace industry innovations and technologies of Appareo Systems.
The new company called Intelligent Agricultural Solutions (IAS) has been formed to bring new high-technology, low-cost ag electronics to an ever more competitive marketplace. IAS draws on both Amity and Appareo's talented engineers, product designers and sales teams.
Both Dahl and Batcheller bring a lifetime of experience to IAS. Dahl is the grandson of E.G. Melroe, founder of the Melroe Company which developed the iconic Bobcat loader. Dahl's father Eugene and uncle Les Melroe took over Steiger Tractor in 1970, later selling the company to Case Corporation in 1986. Dahl and his brother Brian founded Concord, Inc. which quickly became the nation's leading manufacturer of air seeding equipment. In addition to their success in the U.S., Concord also fared especially well in the former Soviet Union, selling more than 500 Concord Air Drills into that market. In 1996, a portion of Concord was sold to Case Corporation and the Dahl brothers used the remaining company assets to launch Amity Technology, a leader in sugar beet harvesting equipment and air seeding equipment. Amity also owns Concord Environmental Equipment which produces the world's leading soil sampling equipment. Additionally, the Dahl brothers were partners in Wil-Rich LLC, a manufacturer of tillage equipment in Wahpeton, ND. In January 2011 Amity acquired Wil-Rich and formed a joint venture with AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) for the development of the air seeding equipment and tillage markets.
Batcheller, a native of New York State, graduated from North Dakota State University in 1978 and was soon working as an electrical engineer for Steiger Tractor in Fargo. While at Steiger, Batcheller created an electronics engineering group which he later spun out to form ITS Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Steiger Tractor. Batcheller left ITS following Steiger's acquisition by CaseIH in 1986 and founded Phoenix International Corporation. Phoenix International designs and manufactures ruggedized electronics primarily for the agriculture and construction industries. In 1999, the John Deere Company (NYSE:DE) acquired Phoenix International and Batcheller became Deere's Director of Technology Growth, scouring the globe for two innovative products and concepts to add to Deere's portfolio. Upon leaving Deere, Batcheller founded Appareo Systems, LLC a rapidly growing firm specializing in the design and manufacture of low-cost, lightweight electronics for the aviation industry. Now employing more than 50 people at its Fargo headquarters, and named the fastest growing privately held engineering company in the US in 2010 by INC magazine, Appareo Systems has quickly become an industry leader in the design and manufacture of avionics used world-wide.
IAS will announce its first two products at the Big Iron farm show in West Fargo, Sept. 13-15. Following Big Iron, IAS will introduce itself to the world market at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany in November.