A farm that specializes in grass-fed beef and also raises chickens and pigs has purchased the former Cappiello farm on Route 50 in the town of Ballston.
Wm. H. Buckley Farm LLC bought the 289-acre property for $1.05 million and took possession Jan. 11, according to records filed with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office.
The company already has a meat business, selling directly to the consumer on the Internet and at several area natural food stores and butcher shops under the Buckley Farms label.
Buckley Farms has pastures for its animals at another location, but wants to expand, said Margaret Phillips, agent with Olde Orchard Real Estate, who brokered the deal on behalf of Nancy Cappiello Larson, trustee for the late Julio Cappiello, who died in 2010.
The Buckley purchase was negotiated after the Cappiello family offered to sell the property to the town of Ballston for use as open space, but then pulled the deal when some town officials were reluctant to take the plunge.
With ownership by Buckley Farms, the property will again be used as a working farm with livestock.
“They overall are pleased that it will stay farmland and it will be preserved,” Phillips said of the Cappiellos. A call to a Buckley Farms phone number was not returned Tuesday. The company’s website does not say where its current farmland is located.
According to the website, the business raises a breed of cattle called Belted Galloway, which is native to the Scottish highlands and yields high-quality meat.
“Unlike commercial feedlot cattle, the Belted Galloway is an excellent forager and thrives on grass,” the website states. “This ability has been part of the Belted Galloway’s genetic makeup for hundreds of years.”
The farm also doesn’t use growth hormone or antibiotics, and boasts that its Belted Galloway beef is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol, and higher in protein, calcium and niacin.
The talks between the Cappiello family and town officials dissolved last fall amid bad feelings.
Over the summer, the town’s Farmland Protection & Preservation Committee secured an offer from the Cappiello family for $600,000 for 272 acres of the property and recommended that the Town Board vote to send the matter to a November voter referendum.
In late September, Donald Rhodes, a resident and professional engineer who volunteered for many hours on the proposal, told the Town Board he didn’t know how much longer the owners would hold the property at that price, which represented about $2,200 an acre.
The board didn’t act, and the next day the price rose to $3,300 an acre, or about $897,000, the value that a certified agricultural appraiser put on the land. The Town Board then voted to move forward with drawing up a purchase agreement on that price, but it was too late.
By the end of the week, citing town officials’ comments that they felt rushed into making a decision, the Cappiellos said they had waited long enough and the deal was off the table.
They said they were negotiating with a private buyer, which turned out to be Buckley Farms.