Bishop Fencing and Farm Services in Somerset, Virginia, offers all types of fencing and fence repair, excavation and grading, earthmoving, water line installation, dump truck hauling, and beekeeping. Run by Caleb Bishop and Jessica Woodcock since 2014, Jessica has been managing the fencing business single-handedly for the last 18 months with work split between government conservation contracts and private fencing.
How did you become a great fencer?
We have always been in agriculture, rearing cattle and horses so fencing is something we have always done for ourselves. From trial and error doing it for myself, then you start paying attention when you drive down the road and you are looking at other people’s fences and how they do things. Not everything I do today is the way we did it seven years ago, there are so many variables to fencing that if you don’t evolve its not going to get any better.
What keeps you motivated?
I like everything to be perfect and that keeps me going once I get started. I enjoy working outside, I really enjoy solving problems which is usually what a fence will do, and I enjoy making people happy. I will never go back to working in corporate jobs now that I have worked for myself for so long.
What is the sign of a job well done?
I gauge quality work by my repeat customers and business via word of mouth. In all these years I have not spent one single penny on advertising.
What advice would you give to someone getting into the fencing business?
Think really hard and then set yourself up with good equipment to work smarter not harder.
Last tool I bought?
A pair of Knipex pliers to cut in really tight places.
We want to build across the services we offer. Doing both fence and excavation work is a real advantage for us. It means people who sign up for cross-care programmes so they don’t have hire multiple contractors to do their waterline, stream crossings, and fence work.