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2019 BAE Outstanding Alumni

Sue Nokes, Garey Fox and Brandon Batten at the alumni ceremony.

NC State BAE has no shortage of outstanding alumni. This year, Sue Nokes was named the Outstanding Alumna and Brandon Batten was named Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Outstanding Alumna

Sue Nokes

President, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Facilities

Dr. Sue Nokes is the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Facilities at the University of Kentucky in the College of Engineering. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Department Chair of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. She is the current President of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). Her research focuses on converting bioresources into industrial chemicals and fuels and enzymatic conversion and fermentation of plant biomass, including the mathematical modeling of kinetics and microbial metabolism. She has received national and international awards, including the Provost’s Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Kentucky in 2012; Fellow of ASABE; Fellow of the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering; USDA Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003; A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award from ASABE in 2000; and recognitions as outstanding teacher in her department at UK. Sue received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering at The Ohio State University and her Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from NC State under the guidance of Dr. Jim Young. Prior to pursuing her M.S., she worked as a product engineer at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

Outstanding Young Alumnus

Brandon Batten

Owner of Flying Farmer, LLC.

Manager of Triple B Farms, Inc.

2019 National Outstanding Young Farmer

Brandon Batten is currently the owner of Flying Farmer, LLC, as a licensed drone pilot providing aerial imagery and analysis for agricultural production and land management. He is also a 15-year manager of Triple B Farms, Inc., in Johnston County, where he oversees his family-owned and operated farm producing flue-cured tobacco, soybeans, corns, wheat, rye, hay and beef cattle. Brandon received his B.S. degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering in 2008 and his M.S. degree in 2010. His graduate degree was under the guidance of Dr. Mike Boyette. He is a leader in the incorporation of no-till and conservation tillage on his farms. Brandon and his wife, Jessica (B.S. in 2010), have received multiple recognitions for their innovative farming practices: 2017 Innovative Farmers of the Year Award and the 2019 National Outstanding Young Farmers.