A farm product buyer and purchaser concentrates on buying farm products to resale. They may even be interested in purchasing any biproducts made at the farm that can be used to create an entirely new product. Buyers and purchasing agents can work to buy grain, fruit, tobacco, and even trees!
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How to Become a Farm Product Buyer
Since a farm product buyer must be knowledgable about the products they are purchasing, they must have some knowledge in farming or the products they are buying. Experience in agriculture is important along with business skills. For this reason, a blend of experience along with a bachelor’s degree in business may be requested by employers. According to O*NET OnLine, over 75% of the farm product buyers surveyed held a bachelor’s degree.
Job Description of a Farm Product Buyer
Farm product buyers spend their day visiting visiting potential vendors to do business with, negotiate contracts to ensure that the farmer and the business they represent mutually benefit from the deal, and then handle any logistics that may be needed to transport their purchase from the farm.
These buyers work with farmers to purchase any number of items from fruit, dairy, grain, trees, and other organic material the farm may be growing. They would inspect the product and ensure the farm can handle delivery of the quantity needed as well.
Purchasing Agents and Buyers of Farm Products Career Video Transcript
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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products.
National Center for O*NET Development. 13-1021.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.