Ag Industry Veterans Launch Intelligent Agricultural Solutions


FARGO, ND – Barry Batcheller, founder of Appareo Systems, LLC and
Howard Dahl, co-founder of Amity Technology are pleased to announce that they have
formed a new company combining Amity’s agriculture industry success with the
aerospace industry innovations and technologies of Appareo Systems.
The new company is called Intelligent Agricultural Solutions (IAS) and 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
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, ND
this September 13-15th. Following Big Iron, IAS will introduce itself to the world market
at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany in November.