Grown Here at Home: Lynchburg meat processing company finds solution to keeping cattle hides out of landfills

A Lynchburg meat processing plant is creating a sustainable solution to keeping cattle hides out of landfills.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 7:37 AM EST
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LYNCHBURG Va. (WDBJ) - Seven Hills Food Co. in Lynchburg has become one of the largest buyers of Virginia-raised beef.

“Everything is done fresh, in house, and shipped fresh,” explained Dalton Mosser, vice president of Seven Hills Food Co.

While they’re delivering what their customers want, they had a problem to solve.

“As we’ve grown, I’ve recognized that in the next few years we’re going to put two million pounds of cattle hides into local landfills and it’s costly to do that,” Mosser said.

Their solution is to make good use of the hides with the help of local leather company Moore & Giles.

“They wanted us to take our hides, send them to a tannery that they work with, convert the hides into leather and they’re going to do value-added products and turn them into small, personal hand goods and eventually into furniture,” Mosser explained.

The Seven Hills Collection is made from source-traceable leather, or leather with a story. Seven Hills has been selling through the Moore & Giles website for over a year, and while it’s off to a great start, they’re ready to take it to the next level.

Seven Hills made its best pitch at the Virginia FAIRS Bull Pen competition. It’s like Shark Tank with an emphasis on agriculture. They explained their business model and won the top prize of $10,000, which will help in the next phase of the business.

“In order to continue doing this on a commercial scale we have to process the hides through the first phase and then ship them off. We just brought in a 25,000-pound machine from Italy because the hide industry is not what it used to be in the states. We went to Italy to source this machine. It came in on a ship and a crane dropped it off at our facility. It will allow us to process these hides going forward,” Mosser explained.

This is the first of several equipment needs to get the hide processing facility up and running. It will take $150,000 to get it set up.

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