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Buffalo Farm a historic attraction to the Seacoast

Published: Monday, October 2, 2006

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

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Mercedes Trujillo

Prized buffalo graze in the field on the farm not far from campus.

The Little Bay Buffalo Company, off of Durham Point Road, is entering its 20th year. 37 adult buffalo and 11 newborns roam on 40 acres of land. This place is one of only two farms in New Hampshire that raise and sell buffalo meat.

Barbara Langley and her brothers, Dave and Marland, have been running the farm since it started in 1986.

Dave was stationed out in Santa Anna, Calif. in the army at that time. During his practice on the gunnery range with his drill instructor, Dave noticed buffalo running loose and wanted to help them, knowing that they were on the endangered species list at the time.

"After he was discharged, he drove the buffalo cross-country to New Hampshire," said Marland. "He got fencing up and started on Nov. 18, 1986 with three buffalo. He then bought 10 more in Plainfield, Mass. in 1987."

During its hay day in the late 80s, the company used to provide tours to children and families that would come each summer to view the animals from a distance or on a tractor ride. However, the tractor the Langleys used to run tours eventually broke down and rising insurance costs forced them to stop offering tractor tours.

Marland is also aware that buffalo are very protective of their young and are prone to attack if you get too close.

"'You can't trust them, I tell people," said Marland.

He said that he was injured one time trying to hose down a female.

"They don't like to have their heads touched at all," he said.

Now that the tours have stopped, few people come to view the buffalo from a distance behind the electrified fencing, according to Marland.

"We get a lot of 'look, see' people," he said. "I wouldn't say that we're breaking even," indicating the 30 or so active customers that still buy the meat.

He said that most of their customers that buy cuts of buffalo meat come from Durham, Exeter, Dover, Rochester and Hampton.

Between 18 and 30 months is considered prime meat time. When the meat is needed, the Langleys send three buffalo at a time to an old-fashioned butcher shop in Windham, Maine. Then the cuts are sent back to the buffalo company. They sell buffalo steaks, roasts, kabobs, ground meat, ribs, types of sausage and buffalo jerky from South Dakota.

"If you go beyond three years, it gets really tough and gamy," said Marland. The Langleys are now looking to sell their prized buffalo meat on an international level.

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