Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products

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Also known as:  Cattle Buyer, Cotton Broker, Cotton Buyer, Fruit Buyer, Grain Buyer, Hog Buyer, Livestock Buyer, Oyster Buyer, Purchasing Agent, Cotton, Grain, Livestock, Other Farm Products, Tobacco Buyer

ABOUT BUYER OR PURCHASING AGENT CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Without the tools and supplies they need, America's farms would not be able to cultivate their fields or tend their herds. That's why the work of purchasing agents and buyers of farm products is so important to all of us. Farm purchasing agents share a common goal with buyers in any industry: to obt ...
ain the highest quality equipment, materials, or services at the best price.

To do this, one must be a thorough researcher and good negotiator. Buyers sue the internet and other resources to learn about products and compare prices. They often travel to trade shows and showrooms to get firsthand information.

But getting the lowest price is not necessarily the goal. It's important that buyers select the supplier who provides the best value for the price. That includes reliable quality assurance as well as accurate and timely delivery of the goods ordered.

In addition to a four-year college degree in business or accounting, these buyers need to have a good working knowledge of farming. They also need to be savvy, since much of their day is spent searching the net or handling the detailed recordkeeping involved in supplying a busy farm. Strong phone skills are important as well; this is a job that can certainly grow into a fruitful and rewarding career.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Purchase farm products either for further processing or resale. Includes tree farm contractors, grain brokers and market operators, grain buyers, and tobacco buyers.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS
Arrange for transportation or storage of purchased products.
Negotiate contracts with farmers for the production or purchase of farm products.
Maintain records of business transactions and product inventories, reporting data to companies or government agencies as necessary.
Arrange for processing or resale of purchased products.
Purchase, for further processing or for resale, farm products such as milk, grains, or Christmas trees.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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