Current employer/job title: Cargill, Grain Origination Specialist
At Cargill, I work on the phone and in person with a customer base of around 300 farmers to originate their grain into Cargill assets within my region. I also help farmers manage their marketing portfolios by presenting them with crop risk management solutions. The best part of my job is the relationships I build with my customers. When buying their grain, not only do I help Cargill succeed, but I get to see the impact it has on the customers’ bottom line, and to help them make their operations profitable in the current and future years.
Two summer internships with Cargill gave me the insight I needed to know whether Cargill was a company that I would want to work with. The opportunities available and values of the company and my personal values aligned very well and made for a good fit. Upon graduation, I took a job as a trainee and was able to learn more in depth about the positions that I could move into and other opportunities within the company.
I applied for and accepted my current position in December of 2016. I really enjoy the grain side of Cargill’s business. I chose this job because it gives me one-on-one interaction with farmers and allows me to develop my sales and communication skills in and out of the office. Kansas City is a unique location that gives me exposure to multiple crops like sorghum, wheat, beans, and corn.
The Ag Business major prepared me for my position by giving me an understanding of economics, which plays a large role in the grain world. Whether looking at futures prices on commodities or basis levels, understanding the macro and microenvironments that drive these prices, and being able to interpret them and make them understandable to a customer is key. The major also provided me with knowledge of how to network. Through club activities and class projects, I learned the importance of networking, and how to create, continue building, and maintain a network long after college.
If I had to give advice to students looking for a job in my position or any position in the agricultural industry, it would be to remain flexible. Both large and small changes happen every day. Problems and new experiences arise and it’s up to you to know how to handle them. Being able to go with the flow and come out on top of a situation will get you far and will help your professional development. Accepting change quickly can be difficult but for progress to be made, flexibility and understanding will help you play to win in your position.