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Barry BatchellerBarry Batcheller
BS ’77, electrical and electronic engineering
Honorary doctorate ‘10
2018 Heritage Award for Alumni Service
The Heritage Award for Alumni Service acknowledges outstanding and significant support to NDSU. The award is bestowed on alumni who contribute significant time and energy for the betterment of the university.

Batcheller is Chairman of the Board of Fargo-based Appareo Systems, an electronics design and manufacturing company he founded in 2003. In 2012, INC magazine rated Appareo as America’s fastest growing engineering company.

Batcheller has founded three other successful electronics manufacturing companies including Phoenix International Corporation, which became the anchor tenant in North Dakota State University’s Research and Technology Park. From a small startup, Phoenix grew to become a world-wide electronics design and manufacturing company with factories in Fargo, Springfield, Ill., and Denmark. Batcheller was President and CEO of Phoenix until it was purchased by John Deere in 1999. He remained with John Deere, serving as the company’s Director of Technology Growth until 2005.

He formed Intelligent Agricultural Solutions LLC, a joint venture between Appareo and AGCO in 2013. Today the company is a market leader in advanced monitoring and control systems used in the agriculture industry.

A pioneering entrepreneur, Batcheller has played a major role in establishing the region’s growing high-tech sector.

After graduating from NDSU, Batcheller began his career at Steiger Tractor where he established Integrated Technical Systems Corp on behalf of Steiger and he served as its CEO. Batcheller holds more than 35 U.S. and foreign patents and has authored numerous papers related to the use of electronics in agriculture.

He received an honorary doctorate in engineering from NDSU in 2010.

Among his many other honors, Batcheller was named the North Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006; the Fargo Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year 1995; and the North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year in 1994. In 2012, he was awarded the NDSU Alumni Achievement Award for exceptional distinction in his professional field.

Batcheller was instrumental in helping the university establish its Research and Technology Park, a catalyst for innovation in science and technology, and he serves on its board of directors.

He is a past president of the NDSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and serves as a mentor to startups and budding entrepreneurs. His wife, Julien, serves on the Bison Arts Board. Batcheller has also served on several corporate boards including Xata Corporation, Meritcare (now Sanford Health), Hemsphere GPS, AgJunction and the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corporation.

Batcheller offers these words of advice to today’s NDSU students: “Work hard and take the high road. Winning is not necessarily the result of someone else losing.” He and his wife, Julien, have two adult children, and reside in Fargo.

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