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February 2020

Dear Friend,

Howard visitation display
Thank you, Howard.  What fun!

The Fun is in the Run

Make your daily run fun.
It's what we do, and what we say
That makes the difference
In our way.

The fun's done when the race is won.
Daily we must look for a new race to run.
What is the test?  Daily to do our best.
Anything less is a sin.
Run hard, Run well, and Win

D. Howard Doster, 1986.

Howard finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7) on February 13, 2020.  He and Barbara were regulars at the FBS User Conferences and Howard was the inspiration behind the LifeCycle Budget software.  Read about his remarkable life below.

In this month's newsletter:

  • Howard Doster--What fun!
  • Cost Accounting from the Cloud at the Commodity Classic.
  • Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year.
  • Iowa Corn Promotion Board president
  • January 1 Bank Balances.


Howard 2018DOSTER, D. Howard, age 86, of Waynesville, OH, formerly of W. Lafayette, IN, died February 13, 2020 at his home. Howard lived life to the fullest – What fun!

Howard was passionate about helping Land Grant Universities pursue their original mission to provide public domain research for all and encouraged farmers to contribute financially to help. He was actively working to start a new 4-H Farm Management project to teach 4-H kids and their parents better farm practices. Howard passionately opposed multi-national companies picking site-specific recipes for farmers because of the severe consequences for farmers’ independence and for our environment. Helping family farmers was his passion, specifically helping family-owned farmers to maximize yield and profit.

He earned three degrees from The Ohio State University in Agriculture Economics. While at OSU, he played baritone in the marching band and became a proud member of the TBDBITL alumni band. He attended every OSU band alumni game for over 50 years. After 35 years teaching and Extension farm management work, he retired as Professor Emeritus from Purdue University in 2001. Professionally, he helped start and led the Purdue Top Farmer Workshop where he taught thousands of farmers best practices and that “past costs don’t count.” He developed the Surprise Moment Management farming accounting system to help farmers make timely, effective farm management decisions.

Howard glorified God with his life. He started and ended his life as a member of Jonah’s Run Baptist Church, Harveysburg, Ohio, and was a member of The Federated Church in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was a member of the Waynesville (Harveysburg) Masonic Lodge #163. He was active in genealogical research and in many historical societies including the Harveysburg Community Black School Historical Society, and the Wilmington, Clinton County, and Waynesville Historical Societies. Howard loved family and the annual gathering of cousins at the Collett-McKay Picnic. Each year he contributed an article to the Wilmington News-Journal to share stories about who came the farthest for Picnic, the oldest, and the youngest. We will gather for the 155th year in August 2020.

Family-oriented, passionate, impactful, and unpretentious, Howard made friends wherever he went. For 19-years, Doster’s Dan-D Acres pick-your-own strawberry patch was the foundation for entrepreneurial training for his four kids and the inspiration for the entrepreneurship textbook he wrote. Howard was a Navy veteran. Back in his Navy and OSU days, he played baseball, including being recruited by the Kansas City Royals. As he grew older, softball became his sport of choice where he played on a National Senior League Championship team. He played competitively nearly 150 games a year until age 83. In West Lafayette, Howard passionately coached several softball teams, including the Purdue women’s team. He’s remembered for his energetic cheering at his kids' and grandkids' sporting events.

A friend wrote that Howard could take a complex problem and make it simple. Then he would teach how to analyze it and make it better. If he had written this column it would be shorter!

He is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Barbara; two sons; two daughters; eight grandchildren; three great grandchildren; two brothers; one sister; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

 For memorial contribution information and to share stories about Howard, go to:

Cost Accounting from the Cab at the Commodity Classic

Planter_Monitors Are you headed to San Antonio for the Commodity Classic next week?  Then don't miss the newest technology that updates  FBS Management Accounting directly from the field through Conservis
Consevis bullet 1 Transfer application, equipment and harvest data automatically through the cloud to accounting. 
Consevis bullet 2 Know and analyze your true cost of production across farms, crops and operations.
Consevis bullet 3 With production and accounting data always in sync, your records are current and accurate.

CC Map 2020

Please stop by booth #224 to learn how operations like yours are cutting time and costs while making better and more timely management decisions.

Also pick up your FREE demo CD of FBS's latest Version 11.3.

For a preview for what’s possible watch our short video or contact us at or call 800.437.7638 to schedule a free webinar.

FBS Users in the News

The 2020 Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year is the Cowser Family from Bradford, Illinois.

Cowser Family

Four generations strong, the Cowser family has been building their family owned farm in central Illinois since 1932. Current owners include brothers Steve, Andy, Marc, and Darin as well as two of Andy’s children, Cheryl and Alan. Together this team of six is focused on setting up future generations for success.

Roger Zylstra serves as  the Iowa Corn Promotion Board President and is the former vice chair of the Iowa Corn Animal Agriculture & Environment Committee.  He was recently pictured in the Iowa State Stories magazine helping break ground for the Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex on the Iowa State University campus.

Roger also serves on the U.S. Meat Export Federation Pork Advisory Committee, the U.S. Grains Council Biotech Action Team as well as chairman of the NCGA Stewardship Action Team

Q&A:  January 1st Bank Balance

Q.  My Check Register bank balance for 1/1/20 doesn't match my ending balance from 12/31/19.  What could be going on? 

Sarah 2019

Sarah Dixon, FBS Support Coordinator

A.   It could be one of many things.  To help track down the issue I would first run a Trial Balance report for 1/1/2020 checking the box to include Prior Year column.  This will tell us if the beginning balance truly matches last year's ending balance.
Trial Balance parameters

Trial Balance

If the amount in the Prior Year column matches Beginning Balance column then you can rule out an issue with beginning balances; they are coming over correctly.  If the amounts don’t match in the year 2020 go to Utilities> Create Beginning Balances, make sure the Accounting box is checked and run the calculations. 

Re-run the Trial Balance and see if the amounts now match.  If they do, good; if they don’t, then run a User Defined report for 1/1/20 checking for Undefined entries.

User Defined Undefined entries

Make sure there isn’t a deleted Ledger, Center or Division causing issues with rollover.

If the Trial Balance beginning and ending amounts match but the Check Register still doesn't, then we are most likely dealing with a clearing issue.  Look back through all entries in 2019 and make sure you didn’t put an incorrect cleared date on anything.  If you can't find an issue in 2019 then check the 2020 cleared entries.  If you've cleared checks ahead of the Check Register report date range it will not report the correct beginning balance if you select by Date Cleared because this includes entries that are cleared in the future.  The report should correct itself when balancing for the current month as long as nothing is cleared in advance.  

Next Month:  Reports from the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic
CC17 Pano


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