Notes from the President

Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

I’m sure you have all seen the wording on the side view mirror of your car that states “Objects may be closer than they appear.” This warning isn’t there just to tell you that someone might be following too close, but also reminds us that things may actually be different than they look, and we should use caution when we have the feeling that something just doesn’t seem right.

A few years ago, my wife and I were traveling to Ogden, Utah for a ceremony and party for a very close relative that was retiring from the US Air Force. We decided to fly our own little airplane and make a week-long vacation out of the trip. As we were about to land at the Ogden airport, something just didn’t seem right. I could clearly see that we were lined up for the runway at, what looked like, about six miles out. The GPS was telling me we were only two miles from the airport, but it sure looked farther away than that.

Fortunately, enough bells were going off in my head that I double checked what my eyes were telling me as opposed to what the GPS said, and I was spared the excitement that I’m sure I would have experienced had I continued past my destination airport and landed at Hill Air Force Base. I hear they have a habit of meeting such uninvited visitors on the runway with lots of questions, and probably handcuffs.

This story is a reminder to pay attention in your business, and life, when things don’t feel like they should or you’re getting conflicting information. Double check what you’re about to do, and ensure that the decision you’re making will have the results that you intend.

- Ken Hilton, President

FFSC Q&A: Financial Question Concerning Death Loss at a Cattle Feed Yard

By Stephanie Elsen

Farm Financial Standards Council

Professionals from the Farm Financial Standards Council are answering questions about ag financial matters (non-tax related). Here is a question that was recently submitted.


“My question pertains to death loss at a cattle feed yard. Cattle are purchased by lots and accounted for by lots. There is a typical amount of death loss, of course, in each lot. In general, no adjustment is made for normal death loss. In other words, the cost of those cattle and the feed they consumed up to death remains in the lot until sales occur. In a year where death losses are extraordinary (say 20% rather than the normal 2-7%), does an adjustment to inventory need to be made when there is still significant equity in each individual lot? When doing a lower of cost or market analysis (with the cost of the deads still included in the inventory cost), the market value still exceeds the cost. ”


The Guidelines don’t specifically speak to this issue, but Steve Severe the CFO of Padlock Ranch in Ranchester, WY and a member of the Farm Financial Standards Council Technical Committee, provides the following guidance.

"In my experience, I have always left the death loss with the lot until the lot is closed out (even if that closeout crosses over year-end). The decision to treat them on a lot basis conforms with GAAP. Where the cost for the lot, including the deads, is less than market value, that would give me comfort to leave it unadjusted.”

Farm Financial Standards Council

Click Here to Email Your Questions or email with a subject line of “Questions for the FFSC”. The FFSC will select questions to answer on this blog.

The People Behind the Voices – Dick & Marlene Moore

Dick and Marlene are names many of our long time users are familiar with. Dick has been a developer of accounting and payroll software since the origin of FMS, one of the companies that later merged with Red Wing Software. Dick and his father operated a hog farm and the first FMS agriculture accounting product was developed in the late 1970s for use on their hog farm. Computers at that time had no hard drive and worked off of removable disks that you had to keep changing to use a different portion of the program. Interest began in computerized accounting on the farm, and by 1980 they had a small group of customers using their software. The part time endeavor was run out of their home, which is when Marlene began doing support of the software. Figuring out how to help the customer became an easier choice than gathering up their four little girls to go find Dick in some barn or field. (Cell phones would have been very helpful!) In 1981, Dick’s allergies to grain dust played a factor in him going full time with the software business. They soon outgrew doing business out of their home and opened the FMS office in New Lenox, IL, with additional employees; Ken Hilton was part of that beginning.

In 1990, FMS merged with another agricultural software company out of Indiana and became FMS/Harvest. In 2000, FMS/Harvest was purchased by Red Wing Software. Dick and Marlene have remained working in Illinois for Red Wing Software. Dick manages the development team, and Marlene does technical support of CenterPoint products and Perception.

Outside of work, they have four married daughters and each has three children... well almost. They also have 11 grandchildren ages 9 to 6 months, with number 12 on the way and love being a part of their lives. Family gatherings at Grandma and Grandpa’s house are favorite times, and the kids ask all year how soon before the next family summer vacation will be so they can be together. They all manage to live in one big house together for a few days! As the grandkids get older, their different sports and activities keep them on the go! Other interests in their lives are church activities, traveling, back yard work, and friends. Dick does woodworking and there are always endless projects including a complete kitchen remodel in their home that has kept them both busy. Dick and Marlene are never at a loss for things to do, but there is always time for the grandkids!

They have met and talked with so many customers over the years, they all feel like family too. “It is great to talk with so many wonderful people. I always chuckle when someone says, “Are you the same Marlene that has always been there?”

Dick and Marlene Moore along with their grandchilderen

Red Wing Software Customers in the News

CenterPoint Accounting customer, Rendell Tullar, of Tullando Farm, was featured in the January issue of Dairy Today in the article Dollars and Sense. To read the entire article, click here.

The January 19, 2014 issue of Progressive Dairyman featured several of our CenterPoint Accounting customers in the special insert for the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin 2014 Business Conference. Included were: Deric Lindstrom from Breezy Point Farms, Jim & Sue Kruger and Jeff & Lisa Buchholz of So-Fine Bovines LLC, and Paul Fetzer from Fetzer Farms.

Also featured in this issue, was Vir-Clar Farms in the Calf & Heifer Raising section of the magazine. You can click here to read the entire article.

Tubergen Dairy Farm, LLC, a CenterPoint Accounting customer, was featured in the January 10, 2014 issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. The dairy farm is a 2013 Platinum award winner in the 63rd Annual Hoard’s Dairyman Round Table. Congratulations from all of us at Red Wing Software!