How do I Become a Grain Broker?

Carol Francois

In order to become a grain broker, there are four core requirements: post-secondary education, work experience, a deep understanding of the agricultural industry and an outgoing personality. A grain broker is someone who acts as an intermediary between the buyer and seller. Grain is a commodity that is traded around the world, both as a measure of wealth and as a food staple. If you want to become a grain broker, you will need to develop both the skill sets and the connections required to secure a position in the industry. These roles typically are found in either a large commodity exchange or in agricultural cities and trading centers around the world.

Barley, a type of grain.
Barley, a type of grain.

The first step on the road to become a grain broker is to complete a post-secondary education program in either business or agriculture. The training program typically dictates which types of positions will be available immediately upon graduation. Work experience will broaden the roles and employers available and increase the number of opportunities. Experience can be obtained through part-time roles in the agriculture industry in companies such as a brokerage firm, a grain transportation company or a large granary. Upon graduation, many candidates look to secure an entry-level role in a large commodity trading company, but there often are more positions available in the rural centers to work with the actual farmers and granaries.

A prospective grain broker can get a part-time job in the agricultural industry to gain experience.
A prospective grain broker can get a part-time job in the agricultural industry to gain experience.

The agricultural industry is very complex, and if you want to become a grain broker, you would be well advised to spend at least two years working in this sector. The experience provides insight into the actual process for grain production, factors that can have a negative and positive impact on yields and the risks inherent in the sector. This background will provide you with an enhanced understanding of how seemingly unrelated events will affect grain prices and help the candidate to become a grain broker who is very successful.

Working as a grain broker requires a great deal of personal interactions. If you are introverted and don’t enjoy a noisy, dynamic work environment, you would be very unhappy in this position. In order to become a grain broker, the candidate must provide the potential employer with a combination of knowledge and experience as well as the drive required to be successful. Employers are often looking for people who are ambitious, driven and goal oriented. The success of a brokerage business is based on the effectiveness of the brokers, who must be able to build relationships quickly, negotiate effectively and drive transaction volume.

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