By Ashley Sloan, Kencove, Blairsville, PA
*This blog post was provided Kencove
Farmers and tradesmen are known to be some of the most innovative and creative individuals, so it should be no surprise that the agricultural fencing industry is constantly transforming and evolving. Kencove Farm Fence, an agricultural fencing company in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, was born out of that same ingenuity in the 1980’s when founder Charlie Kendall was frustrated with the fence products of the day. He searched for, developed, and adopted new fencing techniques that took the family dairy farm to the next level of efficiency. What started as an earnest pursuit grew into a business that sparked a fence revival in western PA and eventually spread like wildfire across the rest of the country. Pennsylvania has always been the home of fence innovation and that legacy continues today!
Agricultural fencing is taking on new forms and the industry is growing and commanding more attention as new generations of fencers advance the field forward. Kencove recently attended and sponsored the East Coast Fencing Rivalry in Galax, Virginia, where the top fencing contractors in the country go boot to boot in fence building competitions to promote their trade and prove their skill. This event is described as “America’s first known foray into handwork fencing competitions.” Among the contactors and competitors was PA local from Ebensburg, Alex Masser of AM AG Fence.
Masser is a top-notch fence builder and is a well-known contractor around Kencove. Masser even participates in teaching Kiwi fence School, hosted by Kencove, where he instructs and encourages attendees to improve their business, value their skill, and make their businesses profitable. AM AG Fence is a successful fence company, building high quality and attractive fences across several states. Kencove was eager to support every contractor at the competition, but it was safe to say there was a clear favorite in the running! Eli Mack of Kencove was in attendance and explained his perspective, “(At Kencove), we get to see our contractors in the office but rarely get to follow them into the field and see them in action, so we were excited to have the opportunity to watch Alex and cheer him on.”
The first day of competition featured the U.S. Platinum Strainer Doubles Championship. Each two-man team faced off to build the same style fence without the aid of machinery. They would construct the same fence side by side, each team in their own lane, while being judged on factors like time of completion, fence integrity, and professional craftmanship. The prevailing duo would not only win trophies and custom belt buckles but would be guaranteed a spot to compete in New Zealand at the Field Days “Silver Spades Doubles Competition” in June of 2024, and compete in the qualifying heats at Field Days leading up to the competition. There was a lot on the line and a lot of spotlight to shine! The winners of this event would become well known in a growing industry that is bursting onto the scene.
Masser and his teammate Jason Day of Day Fencing in Virginia, worked through changing weather conditions as they set posts, dug and built braces, slung wire, and hand tied terminations. With another team claiming the available points for finishing first, Masser and Day slowed their pace to focus on the tedious attention to detail that always set their fences apart. Craftsmanship is where Masser shines. He cuts no corners and prides himself on building value into the fences not with fancy hardware and gadgets but with time, skill, and his own two hands. The competition drew to a close, the remaining teams finished building, and the judges calculated points.
When the dust and the numbers settled, the results were announced. Masser and Day were named the U.S. Platinum Strainer Doubles Champions and posed with their trophies and buckles. Their true passion for the industry came to the surface as they took a minute to express gratitude for the event, Derrick Cox of Cox Fencing who organizes the event, and all the competitors, stating how they are all helping to advance the fencing industry and raise the bar collectively.
Picture: Alex Masser and Jason Day pose at the Kencove booth after being named U.S. Platinum Strainer Doubles Champions
The second day of the East Coast Fencing Rivalry consisted of two-man teams using their machines and full range of equipment to construct woven wire fences over various obstacles. Although Masser did not compete the second day, his expertise and craftsmanship were put to use as a judge for the ensuing events.
The East Coast Fencing Rivalry was a great look into the heart of the fencing industry, and it is more alive than ever. From professional fence builders to nationwide fence suppliers like Kencove, the industry is in good hands. Innovation, quality, and craftsmanship are hallmarks of people like Masser and Kencove, and therefore, agricultural fence will always adapt and evolve to equip farmers and livestock producers. Just like it did in decades past, Pennsylvania continues to drive the fencing industry forward to this very day.
Congratulations to Alex and Jason!