Ed Body: The Next Generation
Ed Body Fencing
We visited Ed Body at Geraldine High School in Mid-Canterbury, where Ed and his team come and teach the students basic fencing skills a couple of times per month.
Ed Body is a fencing contractor based in Ashburton and has been running his business, Ed Body Fencing, since 1997. Originally from England, Ed loves the lifestyle in New Zealand. He started his business as the dairy industry was taking off and has been fencing for 24 years now. Ed said that Canterbury was a great place to start a fencing business as it is a very diverse market. There are cropping farmers, sheep farmers, bee farmers, and also the dairy industry. Ed is also tapping into the residential fencing market over the last few years, especially over the wetter months. Ed has a team of three full-time fencers; however, he also pulls in more workers for larger jobs. Covering the Mid-Canterbury region, Ed Body Fencing usually spans from Rakaia to Geraldine.
Along with fencing, of which Ed says 80 percent of their work is agricultural, he also teaches high school students from rural backgrounds how to tie knots and participate in a few other fencing projects. Ed usually teaches a couple of times per month through Primary Industry Academy at Geraldine High School. A lot of the students that they teach will leave school and go out to work on farms, so these basic fencing skills will set them up for life. He also creates fencing knot keyrings that students can refer to out on the farm. These keyrings are something Ed likes to give to his clients when finishing up a job for them. Ed will be attending the South Island Agricultural Field Days in Kirwee, where he will have these keyrings on display for sale.
Ed likes every fencing job as long as it’s keeping him and his team busy, but he does enjoy post and rail lifestyle fencing, along with tin fencing in town. In Ashburton, all the fencing contractors know one another with Ed saying that he would sometimes call on another contractor to help, if he had a bigger project that had a short deadline.
Goldpine Ashburton is Ed’s local store, where he has formed a great relationship with Steve and the team. “I think one of the best things about Goldpine is that they’re a one-stop-shop. We can go in there, order our posts, stays, gates, wire and all the other bits and pieces that go with building a fence. It's all there in one shop. And that for me is really good - the guys can go there, or they can deliver to us and they do deliver wherever we are. They'll come out doesn't matter whether it's 10 bundles of posts or 10 posts, they will always get in the ute and bring it to us so that's really important.”
Ed uses a lot of the GOFENCE® products mentioning the TORNADO® screws being top quality and the Superposts® MAX being their biggest user on dairy farms due to their strength and durability.
Some jobs could take longer than expected due to the supply and demand of some fencing materials due to COVID-19. Ed says that this poses a problem for clients who want jobs done swiftly and sometimes jobs can be lost due to the wait time on materials. On a positive note, Kiwis not being able to travel has freed up some money for people to do renovations on their house and property – in which Ed can benefit from this.
If Ed is not fencing or teaching, he also leases a 150-acre run-off block in Geraldine where he looks after 260 calves, from six months to two years.
We’re excited to see what else is in store for Ed in the coming days!