A grain merchandiser is in charge of purchasing and selling grains like wheat, corn, and beans, as well as acting as a broker for other grain buyers and sellers and managing futures accounts. Grain merchandisers usually work in an office setting, where they keep track of grain inventory levels and previous sales records, find the most cost-effective suppliers, and keep an eye on global supply and demand for any negative or positive effects. The ultimate goal is to secure and buy a consistent supply of high-quality grains at the lowest possible cost.
Evaluation of foreign and domestic grain suppliers based on product quality, price, customer service, reputation, location of distribution centers, and distribution capacity is one of the most important responsibilities of the job. The products of a supplier are frequently on display at trade shows and conferences. A visit to a distribution center or plant allows the merchandiser to assess the efficiency of a supplier’s distribution capabilities in addition to viewing products.
Trade journals and directories, catalog listings, and industry periodicals can all help you learn more about a supplier’s products and services. The grain merchandiser then negotiates a price and a contract with the chosen supplier. It is critical to ensure that the purchaser receives the required amount of grain from the supplier at the appropriate time.
Grain merchandisers should practice a variety of skills. When negotiating with suppliers, good oral and written communication skills, as well as interpersonal skills, are beneficial. Furthermore, a successful merchandiser is usually well-organized, detail-oriented, and thrives under pressure. Some employers may require merchandisers to manage positions under their supervision, requiring management skills.
People working in this field should have a four-year college degree in agricultural business, agricultural economics, or grain merchandising and management. Economics, finance, horticulture, botany, agronomy, accounting, agriculture, computers, business, and math are all useful collegiate classes. Short refresher courses on topics like grain evaluation and procurement strategies are available throughout the United States to help merchandisers improve their skills.
In areas of the United States where grains are commonly grown and traded, there are job opportunities. Grain merchandiser jobs are most plentiful in the Midwest, particularly in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas. California, Washington, and Oregon may also have some job openings. Most employers demand several years of grain merchandiser experience or an agricultural background.