Grant’s Farm to remain in Busch family; will continue to be open, free to public

Grant’s Farm will stay in the Busch family and stay free and open to the public as it has always been, members of the family recently announced.
An ownership group of five family members plans to purchase the 270-acre family attraction in Grantwood Village and keep it functioning largely as the public has come to expect since it opened for admission in 1954.
The announcement ended a legal battle involving the Busch siblings who comprise the Busch Family Real Estate Trust, who wanted at one point to sell the farm to the St. Louis Zoo for a conservation ground, and their brother Billy Busch, who wanted to buy the farm to keep it in the family and use it as the headquarters for his beer, Kraftig.
Previously, Billy Busch and his siblings had each offered to buy most of the farm for $26 million. The latest sale price is $51 million, including the Big House family mansion.
Beneficiaries would be the members of the family trust, including the participating siblings themselves, along with Billy Busch and Wells Fargo.
“We are absolutely thrilled by this outcome,” stated Trudy Busch Valentine, one of the siblings in the ownership group. “It means so much to our family to preserve this legacy. We look forward to partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev and preserving Grant’s Farm for the enjoyment of the local community as well as our family for generations to come.”
Valentine is a St. Louis County resident and, like most of the other members of the ownership group, the child of August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr. The other members of the group are Beatrice Busch von Gontard, Peter Busch, Andrew Busch and Robert Hermann Jr., grandson of Gussie Busch.
The home once belonged to Ulysses S. Grant and was purchased by August A. Busch Sr. in 1903. The famous farm has had 30 million visitors to see the Budweiser Clydesdales and the other animals that populate the grounds.
The free beer will continue to flow as A-B InBev continues to pay to operate Grant’s Farm as it has for 60 years.
“We look forward to working with members of the Busch family to continue the legacy and traditions of Grant’s Farm,” said A-B InBev Vice President Beer Category + Community Julia Mize. “Visitors and guests to the property will continue to experience a unique and memorable experience found nowhere else.”
The other siblings invited Billy Busch to buy into their ownership group if he wants to participate. He said he was still considering the offer.
“I am pleased that I could convince my siblings of the importance of keeping Grant’s Farm and our family home preserved and under Busch ownership,” Billy Busch said. “Moving forward, I have the option to buy in with my siblings, and this is something my wife, Christi, our seven children and I are discussing.”
The zoo dropped its plans to expand to Grant’s Farm and convert the 100 species of animals there to more exotic species last year after a survey came back that voters did not want to pay higher taxes for the sale or the extra zoo property.