Individuals who work as field contractors purchase products grown by farmers. For example, they might purchase grain, tobacco, or trees in order to resell them to consumers and retailers or to process them into food items or manufactured products. To become a field contractor, it first is necessary to earn a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. While job candidates for these positions are not normally required to have higher level diplomas, an associate's degree or bachelor's degree program can provide you with valuable education in contract negotiation, business writing, and basic accounting and financial principles.
To become a field contractor, you need to understand how to negotiate contracts. An important part of this job includes knowing the market prices of agricultural goods and coming to reasonable agreements with farmers about the values of their crops. A field contractor might also be required to project demand so that he or she knows which amounts of certain products to purchase for his or her organization. Another important aspect of contract negotiation is to make sure that both parties are following the terms of negotiated contracts.
Training in agricultural science can be helpful for a person who would like to become a field contractor. It is common for professionals in these positions to estimate the growing potential of land. For instance, a field contractor who is determining with which growers he or she would like to work might study the topography of land, irrigation systems, and soil fertility. Some field contractors even act as advisers to growers and may help them to use the most effective harvesting methods and to purchase the best equipment.
A person who would like to become a field contractor also should be able to perform business finance functions. This kind of professional usually creates budgets for growth of materials and may even advance money to growers to help pay for high quality equipment and labor. He or she might estimate the projected value of crops and perform risk management to ensure that all parties involved in transactions are in no danger of losing money due to natural disasters or ineffective strategies.
In order to become a field contractor, it also is important that you understand all laws and regulations related to growing and to the buying and selling of crops. To gain this knowledge, field contractors usually take courses offered by colleges or by professional agricultural associations. In some cases, government agencies might offer tutorials, courses, and texts that are updated annually and which often can be accessed online, sometimes free of charge.