Summary Report for:
13-1021.00 - Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products
Purchase farm products either for further processing or resale. Includes tree farm contractors, grain brokers and market operators, grain buyers, and tobacco buyers.
Sample of reported job titles: Buyer, Grain Buyer, Grain Merchandiser, Grain Merchandising Manager, Grain Origination Specialist, Merchandiser, Merchandising Manager, Procurement Manager, Purchasing Agent, Tobacco Buyer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Purchase, for further processing or for resale, farm products such as milk, grains, or Christmas trees.
- Arrange for processing or resale of purchased products.
- Negotiate contracts with farmers for the production or purchase of farm products.
- Arrange for transportation or storage of purchased products.
- Maintain records of business transactions and product inventories, reporting data to companies or government agencies as necessary.
- Review orders to determine product types and quantities required to meet demand.
- Examine or test crops or products to estimate their value, determine their grade, or locate any evidence of disease or insect damage.
- Coordinate or direct activities of workers engaged in cutting, transporting, storing, or milling products and maintaining records.
- Sell supplies, such as seed, feed, fertilizers, or insecticides, arranging for loans or financing as necessary.
- Advise farm groups or growers on land preparation or livestock care techniques that will maximize the quantity and quality of production.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Animal weighing scales — Livestock scales
- Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
- Desktop computers
- Floor or platform scales — Bulk weighing systems
- Grain analyzers — Grain testers
- Micrometers — Digital micrometers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Rulers — Precision rulers
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Deltek Costpoint
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; Product producer databases
- Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Enterprise resource planning ERP system; Microsoft Dynamics GP ; SAP
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Inventory management software — Inventory management systems
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- 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.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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).
- 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.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- 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.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- 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.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Purchase products or services.
- Execute sales or other financial transactions.
- Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
- Communicate with government agencies.
- Coordinate logistics or other business operations.
- Maintain data in information systems or databases.
- Calculate data to inform organizational operations.
- Determine the value of goods or services.
- Supervise employees.
- Advise others on business or operational matters.
- Evaluate condition of properties.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 72% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 80% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Important.”
- Time Pressure — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 32% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Level of Competition — 36% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “No responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|8||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: ECR
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$27.05 hourly, $56,270 annual|
|Employment (2014)||13,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||3,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Buyers and purchasing agents . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Purchasing Society , North Island Center, Suite 203, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60506. Phone: (630) 859-0250. Fax: (630) 859-0270.
- APICS - The Association for Operations Management , 5301 Shawnee Rd., Alexandria, VA 22312-2317. Phone: (773) 867-1777. Fax: (773) 409-5576.
- Institute for Supply Management (ISM) , P.O. Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160. Phone: (480) 752-6276. Fax: (480) 752-7890.
- National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) , 151 Spring St., Suite 300, Herndon, VA 20170-5223. Phone: (703) 736-8900. Fax: (703) 736-2818.