Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products are savvy shoppers, but instead of malls, they head to farms and other locations to buy livestock, oysters, cotton, fruit, grain and much more. They keep farm products moving; from the initial purchase, to quality evaluation, to storage, to sale. Purchasing agents and buyers need to thoroughly understand the needs of the marketplace so they can anticipate which farm goods are needed, how many, and when. Recognizing a good quality product when they see it is essential. Agents and buyers negotiate for the best possible terms, while dealing with farmers, brokers and processors who also want to get their best price. The majority of farm product buyers work in one of three markets in the U.S., milk, grain, or Christmas trees. They need to keep detailed records of product inventory and transactions to meet government regulations. These buyers and agents keep up to date on product innovations through research, conducting Internet searches, reading up on news and market projections, or attending trade shows to see products first hand. While this field offers a lot of autonomy, keeping in contact with customers and suppliers is a big part of the job. In addition to a four-year college degree in business or accounting, people in this field need a good working knowledge of farming.
What they do:
Purchase farm products either for further processing or resale. Includes tree farm contractors, grain brokers and market operators, grain buyers, and tobacco buyers. May negotiate contracts.
On the job, you would:
Purchase, for further processing or for resale, farm products, such as milk, grains, or Christmas trees.
Arrange for processing or resale of purchased products.
Negotiate contracts with farmers for the production or purchase of farm products.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
accounting and economics
movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Arts and Humanities
talking to others
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
bringing people together to solve differences
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Data base user interface and query software
bachelor's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.