05 Apr Career Spotlight: Grain Merchandiser
A Grain Merchandiser is someone who is responsible for buying and selling grain. Typically a Grain Merchandiser is purchasing physical bushels of grain from a farmer or country elevator (meaning a grain elevator that collects farmer grain during harvest) and sells grain to exporters, processors, end users, or other Grain Merchandisers. The merchant is also often responsible for arranging and paying for the shipment logistics which may include truck, rail, barge, or vessel transportation. With nearly 20 billion bushels of grain grown in the United States per year, this is a very important job at the intersection of farming, agribusiness, finance, and marketing. Grain Merchandisers might work simply as third party middle men looking for opportunities to make money in the markets (also referred to as "Grain Traders"), or they could work for ethanol plants or grain elevators just buying grain from farmers (called "originating"). They could also work for large livestock or poultry feeders, millers and processors, or exporters involved in the buying and selling of grain. A Grain Merchandiser is NOT a Broker. In the grain and feed business, the job title of "Broker" refers only to those who bring buyers and sellers together and make money from the transaction (brokerage fee). Instead a Grain Merchandiser actually assumes ownership of the grain and either stores those bushels or sells them on down the supply chain.