Grain merchants may work in local grain elevators in agricultural communities or with the corporate headquarters of major grain companies. They also find work in commodities exchanges. Companies that supply products and equipment to grain processing companies hire people with elevator management and agribusiness experience. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other government agencies also hire grain merchants.
A good college program will include internship opportunities, as well as career placement services. Jobs with grain elevators will be advertised in the newspaper; entry-level positions include grain elevator worker and commodities exchange clerk. With some experience, you can move into an assistant manager or assistant operator position. The Grain Elevator and Processing Society serves as the professional organization for grain professionals and sponsors annual conventions and other opportunities for members to network with others in the industry.
A skilled grain merchant may become a grain elevator manager or a grain buyer for a large company. As always, those with the most training and experience stand the best prospects of advancing to positions of higher pay and greater responsibility. Changing employers is another way to advance in this field. Some skilled grain merchants become consultants for the federal government or take a similar position with a bank, insurance company, or other private company.
Tips for Entry
Reading industry periodicals such as Farm Journal (http://www.agweb.com/farmjournal), Grain Journal (https://www.geaps.com/company/grain-journal), and Seed Today (http://www.seedtoday.com) will give you insight into the business concerns of grain merchants.
Join the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) to access training and networking opportunities, member-only publications such as In-Grain, and other resources.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: https://www.american-purchasing.com/jobListing and http://careers.instituteforsupplymanagement.org.
Attend the GEAPS Exchange conference (https://www.geaps.com/exchange-expo) to network and participate in continuing education opportunities.