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Date: 6/7/2022

Title: Pulling It All Together - Oakland Corporation Software Ties in a Diverse Product Line at Iowa Coop

Originally Written & Published by Jerry Perkins, Grain Journal – March/April 2022 – Volume 50, No. 2

Stretching across most of southwestern Iowa, United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) uses Oakland Agri-Business Solutions accounting software at all of its 23 locations. That covers a diverse product line that includes agronomy, grain services, fuel and energy sales, feed milling and retail feed sales, convenience stores, lumber yard-hardware outlets, precision ag services, and merchandise.

Lynette VanDenEinde, chief financial officer and agronomy accounting manager, says all of the coops that formed UFC starting in 2016 used the Oakland product except for one, which converted after a 2019 merger.

VanDenEinde notes that Oakland’s software programs are particularly helpful for cooperatives. “For example,” VanDenEinde says, “Oakland software does an excellent job of tracking the coop’s patronage system.

“Oakland software is also very strong with grain accounting,” she remarks, “which UFC uses to manage its grain inventory.” UFC also uses Oakland to track inventories in fertilizer, chemicals, fuel, feed, and other options.

Integral in Grain Accounting

“Oakland is integral to ensure everything flows correctly through the grain accounting system,” VanDenEinde notes. “The programs facilitate the coop’s compliance with annual state and federal audits. Regulators and auditors all appreciate the fact that the Oakland system is very straightforward, and enables easy tracking of operations throughout the year.”

Oakland’s interface with Feed Mill Manager integrates the operations of the coop’s feed mills, which supply feed to approximately 300 barns in southwest Iowa and northern Missouri. “This integration allows us to import all billing from the feed mills in Creston, Afton, and Red Oak into the Oakland system onto the customer’s account.”

VanDenEinde says that UFC’s 4,150 Class A and Class B members can sign in on a secure link through the UFC website to view account information. “Customer account information is updated each day, and on-line payments are available,” she adds. “They also can view their patronage information and equity in the coop.”

One of Oakland’s strengths, she says, is its ability to set up multiple interfaces to outside services. “With the diversity of services we offer, the interfaces Oakland has created are vital to our daily operations.”

VanDenEinde also appreciates Oakland’s customer service. “The staff at Oakland are knowledgeable and can walk us through issues and help our staff understand the process. We are a satisfied customer.”