Little information exists on grain merchandisers, their demographic and professional characteristics, or the skills they find necessary to be successful. Our research contributes toward filling this gap and helps teachers in agricultural economics and agribusiness prepare students for a career as a grain merchandiser. A summary of survey responses from 230 experienced grain merchandisers quantifies personal characteristics, skills perceived as important, and desire for further training. Higher income, education, and training levels are associated with a
greater perceived importance of hedging and this view of hedging is related to a greater desire to improve understanding of basis and spreads, suggesting that these skills should be emphasized in the classroom. More educated merchandisers and those overseeing multiple locations place greater value on logistics. More experienced merchandisers have less desire to improve their understanding of futures markets, possibly because adequate skills were learned on the job over time or perhaps due to impending retirement.
commodity merchandisers, work skills, understanding futures markets, commodity logistics