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Geoff van Dam: Footing a Strainer

G&M Fencing

Last month, we visited Geoff and his son, Mitch, while they were working on a fencing project in Waitoa. While we were there, the pair showed us two different fencing tips – see last month’s mailer for Mitch’s tip on a stay assembly. In this edition, Geoff shows us his tip on footing a strainer.

Originally from the Bay of Plenty, Geoff moved to the Waikato with his parents at 12 years of age while they were sharemilking. Based in the Waikato ever since, Geoff has spent 20 years in dairy farming and wishes he had gone into fencing a lot earlier than he did. “I started out fencing while I was dairy farming, and I really enjoyed it. At that stage I was committed to cows, and when the kids were growing up, it was a good life for them too, so I just stuck with it and the money was good too. I wish I’d gone into fencing when I was a bit younger, because it’s a young man’s game really,” he said.

With modern technology and machinery, like hydraulic rammers, it’s a lot easier to carry on with fencing when you’re older. “I can ram posts all day; you can do that till you’re about 70, I reckon.” Geoff mentioned that his son Mitch is the future of fencing and will take over the business once Geoff decides to put down the tools.

“I get a lot of job satisfaction from fencing and the challenges that come your way. There’s never a fence that’s the same as the last one; they’re all different. There’s alwaysa curveball and things to figure out; it’s good.”

G&M Fencing does a range of different fencing work, from rural to residential, but Geoff enjoys 7-wire post and batten fencing the most. It’s always rewarding work, and working for himself is an added bonus. “I like rural fencing where you’re out in an open space with no one pestering you and you can just chip away at your work,” he said.