Triple R Dairy, owned and operated by Steve Ross and son Phillip Ross, is located in the Jonathan Creek area of Haywood County, NC. This dairy began its operation in 1964 with 13 cows. Today, the Rosses run 345 cows which they milk twice a day. On average, Triple R Dairy produces 2,850 gallons of milk per day. From the dairy, the milk is delivered to Asheville, processed at Milco, and sold at Ingles Markets across Western North Carolina. In order to milk this large number of cattle, it takes numerous pieces of equipment both on the farm and in the field. The Rosses built their shop building in 2001 and it is used to maintain about 28 pieces of equipment. This is one of the most used buildings on the dairy. Because of the amount of activity that takes place in the building, improvement to the pre-existing lights needed to take place.
Originally, twelve incandescent lights were all the shop had. The original lights were dim and not only caused poor working conditions but also resulted in high energy costs. Through a $6,000 TVA Energy for Farms Grant, the Rosses were able to take down the twelve incandescent lights and replace them with twelve new Highbay LED lights. Fender’s Dairy Equipment, Inc., a dairy equipment supplier in Candler, NC, sent three men to help Steve and Phillip install the new lights. This project took approximately 7.5 hours to uninstall the old lights and install the new lights. The total project cost came to a total of $5,400, labor and materials included.
By installing the LED lights, the Rosses are able to do more efficient work in the shop at any hour of the day. Previously, the dimness of the lights served as a major problem when trying to work at night. Now, work can take place at any time in the shop. In addition to increased visibility, the new LED lights also cut energy costs by significant amounts. Because everything in the shop runs off of one meter, this helps remove the extra costs of providing efficient lighting. The Rosses are deeply grateful to participate in this grant program and look forward to seeing how this project helps their business in the future.