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Merchant Intern

Department: Grain/Pulse
Reports To: Vice Presidents Grain/Pulse and Assigned Mentor
FLSA Status: Non-exempt


Organizational Background

Columbia Grain International, LLC. is a long time established full-service grain company in the grain and pulses business. We are headquartered in Portland, Oregon and own/operate over 50 elevators and offices throughout WA, ID, MN, MT, NE and ND to support our domestic and export sales program.

We are a mid-size company with just over 450 employees overall. The employees at Columbia Grain, at all levels of our organization, represent some of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the industry. We are proud of our ability to attract and maintain talented, efficient, long term, community minded employees who can develop lasting relationships with producers and customers both domestic and around the world.

Position Description

The primary objectives for the Merchant Intern will be shadowing and working along-side the Merchandisers, a mentor, elevator managers and logistics personnel to learn all aspects of grain and pulse merchandising. This includes learning cash prices for several different commodities, relationships between cash price, basis, and futures pricing. The Merchant Intern will also learn about supply chain, producer origination, and planning sales/position strategies. The Merchant Intern will work with the other members of the team to work toward operational goals while maintaining quality and efficiencies.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Learn grain buying processes including executing purchases, contracting, settlements, and grower follow up.
  • Analyze local supply/demand, competition, and stay up to date on market conditions to assist merchants and elevator managers.
  • Learn to grade grain, blend grain, and load outbound trucks &\or trains.
  • Learn about changing economics of current market values, rail freight values, and truck transportation costs.
  • Understand how to maintain a profitable margin while increasing volume at facilities.
  • Understand elevator logistics and keep operations personnel updated on all inbound and outbound grain quantity and quality specs.
  • Observe and assist in executing cash purchase contracts and grower agreements.
  • Other duties assigned.


  • Pursuing a four-year degree in Business of an Agriculture-related field.
  • Previous experience in an industrial or manufacturing environment a plus.
  • Familiarity with writing reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instruction, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, storage, interest, commissions, ratios, and conversions quickly and accurately.
  • Good work ethic (team environment, both safe and quality), efficient and willingness to perform all required work with good attendance.

Minimal amounts of travel may be involved with this position.

Successful completion of initial and ongoing employment screens, including but not limited to criminal background and vehicle record as required.

Columbia Grain is an Equal Opportunity Employer