For my part, Good Shepherd Venture Farms (GSVF for short) came into my life March of 2015. I knew someone had purchased the farm behind our house back in December, but didn't really see much activity over the winter months. March 22nd, 2015 (my birthday), while sitting in the office I hear my daughter screaming:
"Dad Dad Dad...There is a herd of something in the field.!"
Thinking it was a couple deer that we usually see, I popped up and sure enough, there were 25 goats grazing in the field behind our house. "Dad... Can we go check it out?" We had no idea what we would find, but together we set off on an adventure walking toward the unknown. What we found was Wade & Joy, the owners of Good Shepherd Venture Farms along with the majority of their dairy goat herd. I didn't know this at the time, but Joy's grandfather (who had passed a few years prior) owned the property and they were moving the goat farm from Tennessee back here to "Pops" (what she called her grandfather) in order to re-establish what had sat vacant for the better part of 10 years.
While exchanging pleasantries with Wade, I noticed that mysteriously Joy and my daughter Lexi had disappeared. Where could they be I asked? With a grin, Wade just told me to go check the red barn, he was sure they would be there. What I found when I got there would change my life forever. Lexi and Joy were sitting in the bottom of the barn playing with the spring babies. And not just goats, there were puppies, kittens, horses... Lexi had never been around a farm like this and her eyes were gleaming.
This was my cute little girl who never wanted to get dirty, rolling around in dirt and playing with farm animals. She and Austin really let go and enjoyed all that they had discovered that day, what an adventure we had. From that point on "I was in love".! I knew from that very moment that Wade, Joy, and GSVF were going to be in our lives for a very long time. Over the next few months, Wade and I became closer and closer friends. He was of course in the process of building numerous runs of woven wire and electric fencing and I jumped right in to help where I could.
This is were our story gets interesting, you see my background was in the R&D field and I was currently working a Start-up company that I formed from one of my previous inventions. While building the electric fencing and seeing first hand that the insulators were, for lack of a better term, garbage. They didn't fit well, they broke easily, the pins were easily lost, etc. Not to mention that you either had to use 3 separate insulators for the corner or use a completely different insulator all together. Wade too complained about the insulators and would say, "I wish these were round so I could go around the corner" or "These would be great if I could put them on the back side of the t-post as well". I could not help myself, and off we went redesigning the T-post electric fence insulator.
"I guess my next project found me this time!"
It was not long before I had a 3D printed prototype. You should have seen the look on Wade's face when he saw it for the first time. I think it was more surprising that he could hold it in his hand and really test something that came from an idea that he had and helped develop. Of course prototypes are made and tested so that they can be changed. As of today, we have gone through at least 50 different iterations of this first design and many things have changed as you can see from the LockJawz T-360 models we sell today.
These times are exciting because we have officially started building the tooling needed to produce LockJawz in mass quantities right here in Southern Indiana. That's right, they will be Made in the USA and proud of it. We have begun Pre-Orders with deliveries starting in May and I am excited what the future will hold for LockJawz and GSVF. There are still many ideas that have come from building those first electric fences, we will continue to innovate and bring change to electric fence market. Stay Tuned!
- Nik Hiner (Co-Owner/Inventor)
Want to get involved? Like, Tag, Comment, & Share! Spread the word and help Wade and I reach as many people as you can to build awareness that there are better options when it comes to there electric fence insulators.
Check us out on Facebook: @LockJawzT360
Check out the farm: @GoodShepherdVentureFarms