Buyers and Purchasing Agents of Farm Products

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ABOUT BUYERS AND PURCHASING AGENT OF FARM PRODUCTS CAREERS
Video transcript

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 obtain 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
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
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
Daily tasks

Negotiate contracts with farmers for the production or purchase of farm products.

Arrange for processing or resale of purchased products.

Purchase, for further processing or for resale, farm products, such as milk, grains, or Christmas trees.

Maintain records of business transactions and product inventories, reporting data to companies or government agencies as necessary.

Arrange for transportation or storage of purchased products.

Review orders to determine product types and quantities required to meet demand.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
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.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.