History of the Farm
Dreams don't work... unless you do too.
Although the Van Ruitens met and started their farm in Texas, their story begins much earlier in a whole different country. Both Bart and Linda were born in the Netherlands; Bart was raised there while Linda's family immigrated to Texas soon after her birth. Fast forward to today: They are enjoying life on their very own farm, with their 5 kids in tow. Read more below:
Early HistoryAlthough the Van Ruitens met and started their farm in Texas, their story begins much earlier in a whole different country. Both Bart and Linda were born in the Netherlands; Bart was raised there while Linda's family immigrated to Texas soon after her birth.
Bart comes from a large family and grew up working with the animals on their small dairy farm. Life on a family farm has always consisted of a mixture of hard work, responsibility, and the enjoyment of animals. This was no different in Bart's case; he grew up feeding, milking, and caring for the cows at home. Apart from the dairy, Bart also showed and raised goats as his own personal project. When Bart was a young teen his parents made the decision to sell their dairy. At only 18 years old Bart decided he wanted to start his own dairy again and with the help of his parents he was able to buy a few cows. When he wasn't at school Bart was taking care of his own small farm.
Linda also comes from a large family who all immigrated to Texas from the Netherlands when she was a baby. They fell in love with Texas and are fully immersed in the Texas culture. "If you met us today, you wouldn't have guessed that we're 'not from around here'". Growing up in these wide open spaces, Linda's family soon had a mix of many different farm animals. Their own little ranch (Tatanka Ranch) was born. Linda grew up loving and taking care of everything from cats to feral hogs and everything in between. She also enjoyed showing dairy cattle competitively through 4H for many years, winning several awards.
Although Bart and Linda's home towns in the Netherlands are only 20 minutes apart, they actually met here in Texas. Bart did several internships at different farms, learning all he could. One of those internships brought him to Lingleville, Texas. His host family was actually friends with Linda's family. After several years of dividing his time between The Netherlands and Texas Bart finally made the decision to leave his family and immigrate to Texas as well. When Bart was 21 years old and Linda was 19, they started their own dairy farm in Stephenville, Texas.
After several years of hard work and dedication they have built up their family farm and moved everything to the small town of Chalk Mountain, Texas. Not only has their farm grown, so has their family. The dream of having a big family to share their life with was finally realized after much hard work and struggle.
Current Life on the FarmThe dream is coming true.
"We're enjoying living in the rolling hills of Chalk Mountain. I'm not sure what it was, but it felt like home before we even officially moved. We are blessed with 5 beautiful kids who love the outdoors and animals as much as we do. Bart and I want to instill a respect for animals and teach our kids the responsibility of actually taking care of the animals we have on the farm. We really wanted to provide the kids with animals that they had to help take care of close to home. This became a lot more difficult when we found out that our oldest son has severe allergies. He is plagued with a multitude of allergies; seasonal, food, and animal allergies.
After much research we found the Bengal breed of cats. It's amazing how well these cats fit into our family. Bart would never have said he was a cat person, until I came home with our first two Bengals. Not only are they beautiful creatures, they are also super friendly and best of all: hypoallergenic. We fell in love with the breed and love seeing how much the kids enjoy them. Soon the kittens became cats and we decided we had to share our love of Bengals.
We slowly began our family project of starting a cattery here in Central Texas. We want to share our love of these family friendly cats, but only if we can do it right. If you're going to invest your time and love into an animal you want to make sure you get a healthy and friendly addition into your family. All of our cats are DNA and HCM Heart tested. The kittens are spayed/neutered, and registered with both TICA and CFA. They come with a health guarantee and with 5 kids playing with them every day - you know they're going to be as friendly and socialized as possible.