J500 Media and the Environment

Kentucky fans cooling Missouri cows by mackenzies09
February 18, 2009, 11:44 am
Filed under: Energy + Climate, Food + Health | Tags: , , ,
Big Ass Fan

Big Ass Fan

While reading about the Shatto Milk Company, I came across a name I hadn’t seen in awhile, Big Ass Fans. It’s a funny name, I know, but it really caught my attention because I used to work on their marketing materials at a Texas ad agency.

I always liked the Kentucky based company and the products it makes. But realizing its energy efficient fans are helping a local dairy farmer keep his cows happy and healthy made me think again of the interconnectedness of things. BAF is helping the Shattos remain sustainable.

Cows eat more when they are cool and comfortable, therefore producing more milk. The Shattos employ BAF (as well as misters) to keep their cows content. Higher yields of milk mean more profit for the family farm. Not the $28.2 million earnings that Dean Foods sees from sales of Horizon Organic Milk and other products. But a livable wage.

A happy cow with BAF overhead

A cow (eating grass?) with a BAF overhead

BAF are most likely reducing their energy costs as well. BAF are energy efficient because they rely on giant blades, or airfoils as they’re called in the industry, to slowly move air in all directions, not just down like conventional ceiling fans. One fan can cool up to 20,000 square feet.

By using 17 BAF (20ft. blades) instead of 200 column mounted fans (48in. blades) electricity usage can be reduced by more than 111,000 kw a year. This can amount to savings of over $17,000 in energy costs per year. Another plus of BAF, they’re incredibly quiet and as far as industrial fans go, they‘re beautiful.

Connections, both large and small, are significant. Even the little ones I find in my own life. To really be sustainable a business can’t rely on the practices of its own industry alone. Dairy farmers and fan companies need each other, like we need food and air.


photos from bigassfans.com


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What are some of the other kinds of companies that use BAFs? Are they common in agriculture?

Comment by meganr21

It does seem like a step in the right direction to use fans that can lower the company’s overall costs. Nonetheless, having such a large operation still requires a huge energy input, and seeing how they sell this milk all over, it probably takes a considerable amount to distribute it too. But again, anywhere they can start to trim is good and might inspire others to go for BAFs in the future.
Good Find.

Comment by bryand09

BAF are used everywhere. I’ve seen them in restaurants and gyms. They’re also used in warehouses, wineries, and equine arenas.

Comment by mackenzies09

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