Assistant Merchandiser - Johnston (Des Moines), IA

Job Description:

Furst-McNess Company is seeking an Assistant Merchandiser to join our Johnston (Des Moines), IA team.  This individual will be engaged in commodity trading activity of the Company and spearheads development of markets for commodities through trading to commercial customers and the Merchandising Sales Organization. Provides a high level of leadership and creativity that provides consistent growth in sales and margins.  The foregoing is conducted working independently, in association with other Company resources and with external resources.

Responsibilities Overview:                                                  

  • Spearhead the development of existing and emerging market outlets for commodity products and related other companion products.
  • Negotiate purchases of feed ingredients and sale of same in accordance with established company practices and at margin levels representative of business plans.
  • Develop and maintain close working relationship with suppliers, transportation companies/personnel, customers and manufacturing facilities.
  • Capable of making cold calls on prospective customers.
  • Maintain position reports for purchase and sales activity.
  • Ensure input on a daily basis of purchase and sale documents.
  • Participate in Company meetings, keeping sales staff current on product development opportunities and techniques as part of the overall Team selling approach.
  • Maintain contact with customers in relation to their existing and potential volume for business.
  • Liaise with customers to keep them current on the availability of Company products, services, outside services and new product availability.
  • Keep a pulse on competitive activity and report market changes.
  • Work closely with all personnel regarding areas of credit and collection.
  • Communicate reported service requests and/or complaints from customers according to Company policies and procedures.
  • Participate in livestock industry tradeshows and associations as is reasonable.
  • Submit required cycle reports, expense accounts, etc., as dictated by Company guidelines.
  • Achieve cycle and annual sales forecasts by effectively utilizing all sales tools and resources provided.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Be able to succeed within and adhere to the culture of the Furst-McNess Company.
  • Ability to perform essential job functions with or without accommodation.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness, or related Ag degree, or the equivalent in related work experience with a strong marketing and logistics background.
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of and the ability to sell the full line of McNess related products.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, and is capable of utilizing these skills within all levels of the Company as well as externally.
  • Ability to travel, either by car or by commercial plane, including overnight stays, as business dictates.  Must at all times, possess a valid driver’s license and maintain a good driving record (within guidelines set forth in company vehicle policy).


  • Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Comprehensive health, dental and vision plan.
  • Paid vacation/floating holidays/company holidays.
  • Competitive 401(k) program. 


Please submit your resume to our Human Resources Dept. via email to, via fax at 815-232-9705 or send via mail to Furst-McNess Company, Attn: Human Resources, 120 E Clark St., Freeport, IL 61032.