As wildfires continue to devastate Australia, a Greene County fencing company is doing what it can to help the citizens begin to rebuild.
The fires in Australia have been raging since July. So far, they have killed 28 people and destroyed thousands of homes. An estimated one billion animals have been displaced, with millions dead.
John Wall Inc. manufactures its Horserail fencing in Carmichaels, and has distributors around the globe that sell its products – including Australia.
John Wall, the owner and founder, came to Pennsylvania from his native New Zealand in 1969. After about a decade of doing consultant work, he got into the fencing business.
“I was dissatisfied with the materials available to the American farmer compared to what I was accustomed to in New Zealand,” Wall said.
Wall began selling high-tensile, smooth wire fencing, which had proved popular with his neighbors in Greene County, he said. Today, his company sells fencing and related products under the name “Horserail.”
The fencing is mainly meant for horse containment, Wall said, and is popular among veterinarians. His company advertises the fencing as being stronger and safer for horses.
John Wall Inc. is sending nearly 57 miles of fencing material to Australia, and that includes nearly every product the company offers.
With the donated material, Wall says farmers and others who have had their property destroyed by the fires will be able to rebuild their fences.
This is not the first time Wall’s business has assisted with relief efforts. He said the company made similar donations about seven years ago, when the Australian state of Victoria experienced a deadly fire season.
“My wife and I went down there and toured the devastation of those fires,” Wall said. “Oh, gosh, it was terrible. Our product was very much appreciated.”
Wall has heard as much directly from those who have benefited from the donations when he visits Australia for trade shows.
“It’s remarkable how many people will come up and thank us and really appreciate the efforts we’re making,” Wall said.
He also expressed thanks to his staff, who has volunteered their time to load containers and fill out paperwork for the shipping.
“It’s an effort by all the staff,” Wall said.
The company’s website, horserail.com, features a link to donate to the Australian Red Cross.