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Fencing a natural transition from the farm

My name is Belinda McCreedy and I am 30 years old.  I grew up in Morrinsville in the Waikato, one of six children from a dairy farming background. Fencing was always part of farm work, and having been brought up in the rural industry, the transition to a fencing lifestyle was relatively easy. 

I am based in Aka Aka rural Pukekohe, in the Franklin area with my partner Ivan and two children, Declan 5 years old and Ruby 11 Months. 

I am employed by Farm Force Ltd, which is owned by my partner Ivan Wrigley. Farm Force was initially started in 2010 as a one-man band Fencer based in Pukekohe West and has since expanded and diversified to include fencing, firewood, BBQ tables and wooden gates. We have further expanded with the construction of a large gate manufacturing shed and administration office block.

I moved to Pukekohe 8 years ago and am currently working full time for Farm Force, a position I have held for the last 18 months.  At Farm Force, I am the Office Administrator, where I take care of all the accounting, payroll, customer inquiries, quotes, invoices, and booking of jobs, basically all the important behind-the-scenes work. I also organise the day-to-day running of our wooden gate business where we build wooden gates – from your standard farm gates to your fancier entrance way gates – we ship our product around the country. I’m in charge of all the customer gate orders, quotes, and invoices. 

I am the face behind the emails and the phone.

I love getting that phone call from Ivan that I’m required on the fence line; it just breaks up doing paperwork and office jobs  

From time to time, you will find me on the tools on the fence line helping Ivan with post and railing, battening fences, putting up hot wires, driving the tractor, just lending a hand where it’s needed. It’s great getting out and about visiting different rural areas and farming districts and being able to see previous jobs I have been a part of. I love getting that phone call from Ivan that I’m required on the fence line; it just breaks up doing paperwork and office jobs. I enjoy all types of fencing, but my favourite would be putting up post and rail. It’s so satisfying at the end of the day to see a line of fencing completed and it is also gratifying to receive positive customer feedback. 

There are definitely challenges to working in the fencing industry as a woman. Number one would have to be that I am as capable as any man. Often men and women on the phone fail to realise that I am intelligent and do have an understanding of the Industry and are often too quick to judge. 

Working on the fence line in the wet weather would not be my first choice, and sometimes working and living with your partner can be a challenge but we make sure we leave work at work. Also, I am a Mum and I juggle my busy working life around school drop-offs and pickups while having my daughter with me.

I most certainly would encourage any woman into the fencing industry, either in an on-field or administrative position.

If you are thinking of getting into the fencing industry don’t be afraid to ask around for some hands-on experience. It is important that you seek out the right employer that meets your requirements and that you have a good working relationship. Fencing is a very demanding job, so you have to be mindful of your physical fitness and mental agility. 

I love it!  

Article supplied by Farm Force Ltd

Farm Force Fencing & Farm Services

Published in the Women in the Industry Feature in WIRED Issue 68 / March 2023 by Fencing Contractors NZ