As the Keyboard Clicks...
The Collected Writings of Lori Roets Valone
A Farm Hand
Originally published in Salt Block Gazette, July 2008 (page 6)

Cover Story:  A Farm Hand
by Lori Roets

Any conversation with Jay Thomason, owner of A Farm Hand, will invariably include a discussion of safety.  From this sprang the philosophy evidenced in all A Farm Hand does:  “Safe Solutions for Your Farm”.   Jay and his wife Kim, founders of this Wake Forest, North Carolina, based business, have three guiding principles in everything they do:  safety, aesthetics and budget.

A Farm Hand is a professional farm service, knowledgeable and experienced, available on an as-needed basis to cover a wide range of farm needs.  Fencing, arenas, landscaping, stall & barn safety, and insect control systems featuring Pyranha products… all can be effectively addressed by A Farm Hand.


Safety is not only a matter of preventing injury but providing for the comfort of both human and creature family members.  A Farm Hand’s focus on safety has had a significant influence on the products they chose to make available to their clients. The Thomason’s focus on aesthetics impacts both product selection and the quality of the work performed.  You will not see any work from A Farm Hand they would not be proud to display on their own farm.  Likewise, they are very conscious of the costs associated with both installing and maintaining farm improvements – not only in terms of cash outlay but all the time that must be invested to maintain both safety and aesthetics.

For these reasons, in the fencing realm, A Farm Hand has chosen top of the line products in a variety of styles to meet any need.  Among these is Bayco Finish-Line, a unique mono-filament product.  Strong, wireless, and easy to install, it provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional wire fencing.  Its unique design eliminates the need for retensioning, saving both time and money.  A Farm Hand also sells and installs Gardner Fence Systems.  This high quality vinyl fencing truly meets A Farm Hand’s guiding principles of safety, aesthetics and budget.  Requiring virtually no maintenance, Gardner fence cleans up by simply pressure-washing with a mild detergent.  With flexibility and no sharp edges, it provides a safe and beautiful containment system.  If wood is your preference, A Farm Hand can handle that too.  A recommended installer for General Timber, A Farm Hand can design, layout and install 3 board, 4 board, crossbuck or split rail fence systems to meet any farm’s requirements. 

Ready to put in an arena or round pen?  A Farm Hand is prepared to help here as well, designing arenas to meet the needs of any discipline.  Jay Thomason says, “Your arena is the most important decision on your farm”.  Therefore, it’s critical to utilize a company with a proven track record to ensure both the design and installation address the proper drainage, crown, footing and fencing.  It’s a significant investment and one the farm owner wants to insure is done right the first time”.   After the extreme drought of 2007, more farm owners see the importance of installing arena watering systems in both new and existing arenas.  Here again, A Farm Hand can help.


For stall safety and comfort, A Farm Hand has selected the Softstall line of products, including SoftStep, SoftStall, and SoftWall.  This family of products  all focus on providing a safe and secure equine environment.  SoftStep is non-slip decorative flooring for barn aisles, wash stalls, or entrances.  SoftStall, used and approved by veterinarians, is a bedding system that eliminates the need for shavings, thereby reducing both costs and time in stall cleaning.  In addition, it provides a healthier environment, especially for breeding facilities.  SoftWall provides an additional measure of protection for horses prone to wall kicking and is excellent for use in horse trailers.  Once again, Jay and Kim Thomason have selected these products because they meet their requirements of providing safety, aesthetics and being cost effective. 


A Farm Hand stands ready to help farm owners throughout Virginia and the Carolinas.  In addition to new installations, they are equally prepared to perform maintenance and repair on existing fences and arenas, pasture maintenance / re-seeding, and a multitude of other services. 

To contact Jay or Kim Thomason to discuss how A Farm Hand can assist you, call 919-369-5001 or e-mail,  More information is available at