The new TV series “Bulloch Family Ranch” chronicles the lives of Julie and Rusty Bulloch, a fun-loving blue collar couple who work hard to make ends meet. They’re also high school sweethearts married for nearly 30 years and are fully committed to their kids – all 25 of them. Today’s CAFO blog post features an exclusive interview with Julie and Rusty, below. The show premiers on UpTV Wednesday, July 17.
Along with Brodie and Amanda, their two biological kids, Rusty and Julie have welcomed 23 teenagers – most teetering on the brink of self-destruction – into their central Florida ranch. Offering a last chance to make it in the world, at the Ranch the teens find family, structure, discipline, love, respect, direction and some good home cooking. Their ranch isn’t a palace and the Bulloch’s did not intentionally plan on any of what’s happened. But one day a young lady reached out for help and ever since, Rusty and Julie have extended a hand again and again.
EXCLUSIVE Q&A WITH BULLOCH FAMILY:
1. How did you decide to take in your first teenager and what was the experience like?
“16 years ago a young lady we knew graduated high school and thought she was ready to move out on her own. Her Mother and I were friends and I asked her if she would mind if Jena moved in with us for awhile. Long story short she was the first of over 25 young people that have lived with us. The transition was easy because she had already been a part of our lives since she was 13 yrs old because she loved horses.”
2. Do you remain in contact with those you’ve helped after they leave the ranch?
“Thanks to Social Media and modern technology we have stayed in contact with the majority of our kids. We have lost contact with a few because of them moving to different states and getting married.”
3. Describe a tough challenge you have faced in providing a home for 25 teenagers.
“The financial respons
ibility of having extra mouths to feed, additional electricity..etc. has been a burden at times. Dealing with the wide variety of personalities, as well as our own two biological children, provide quite a challenge at times.”
4. What role has your faith played in motivating what you’re doing, and how has it helped you amidst the challenges you’ve faced?
“Our Faith is why we do it. God lead us to this and it just seems natural to us and He gives us the strength to continue.”
5. What do you do to help enable the teenagers to remain in contact with their family members while staying at your ranch?
“Weekends are always open for family to visit or for them to go stay with family and they are free to communicate via phone or computer. We never tell a young person that they cannot see family.”
6. What advice would you give to a family considering adopting or fostering a child?
“Well, we are a little different because our kids are 18 yrs old and up. Definitely pray about it and seek God’s will. Time and structure is the most important thing in a child’s life.”
7. Not everyone has the means to provide a home for a child in need. In addition to adoption and foster care, what are other ways people can help foster youth and other vulnerable kids in their community?
“Everyone can give of their time. Time is the cheapest and single most important thing that you can give a young person. Find an organization in your town and volunteer a couple of hours a week or a month. Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a great organization.”
SNEAK PEEK VIDEO:
COMMENT TO WIN:
Comment below within the next 24 hours and we’ll randomly select 4 comments below to win a $50 e-gift card to countryoutfitters.com and each winner will be entered into a grand prize drawing for $500 (for more information about the Bulloch’s click here.)