You might call it the Bulloch family effect.
It's a feeling that starts when you enter their 15-acre ranch, as two cows and their two calves graze lazily in the distance and a pale horse looks out from a newly built stall. To get on the grounds, you'll pass beneath a wooden arch topped with a cross and the words "Bulloch Family Ranch" -- as much an unconscious statement of priorities as anything else.
The couple at the center of this rural paradise, Rusty and Julie Bulloch, are already well-known around here. He coaches running backs for the Lake Gibson High School football team and works as a farrier, helping care for horses' hooves. She runs a rental business providing ponies and inflatable bounce houses to parties.
But the family is better known for their habit of taking in kids who need a stable home and attentive adults to care for them.
In 16 years they have housed 23 teens alongside their biological children, Brodie and Amanda, creating a sprawling extended family cutting across race and class lines in a rural community still too often segregated. Two of their charges have become professional football players: the New York Jets' Bilal Powell and the Tampa Bay Storm's Claude Davis.
So, inevitably, reality-TV cameras came calling. "Bulloch Family Ranch," the show centered on their lives and filmed here last year, is helping to launch a rebranding of the cable platform once known as GMC, the Gospel Music Channel, with the new name UP, the network for "uplifting entertainment."
''With us, it's the three F's: faith, family and friends," said Rusty, 51, a gregarious and direct man whose occasional tough talk and love of pranking friends can't hide an expansive heart often worn on his sleeve. "But we don't go out looking for kids. The kid that crosses our path -- well, first, God put him there -- but we have to see that they want to better their lives. We have to see that they want to make that change."
Often, the Bullochs take in a kid because a parent has asked them to lend a hand; the kid sometimes struggles with drugs, gang membership or resisting street life. And life on a ranch with farm chores and schoolwork can be a shock for youths who may not have had an adult paying close attention to them for quite a while.
''Kids that have not had discipline at home, they can have a hard time with curfews and structure," said Julie, 52, an energetic everymom with a habit of volunteering family members for projects without asking first. "(They say) 'I'm 18, I don't need to live by your rules.' But first of all, this isn't a free ride. And the whole idea is to get you ready for a productive life. It's not that you're having to conform; you're having to grow more mature."
Rusty recalled one girl in their home who started crying when told she couldn't join friends for an overnight trip to Orlando, Fla. "What I didn't know was she wasn't crying because I said she couldn't go," he said. "She told Julie she was crying because she never had anybody care enough to tell her no."
Spend five minutes with the family, and their talent for ribbing and repartee is obvious. Small wonder that a producer decided to make a reality-TV show of their lives. Once they get going -- Julie's openhearted earnestness balanced by Rusty's macho-with-a-heart-of-gold routine -- you need only to aim a camera at them and turn it on.
After a few hours, you understand how kids on the edge could see this eccentric, loving group as an oasis, soaking up their easy affection.
The Bulloch family effect strikes again.
But can a clan centered on family values and religious faith succeed in an industry where exploitative fare such as "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" or "Big Brother" seems to be the gold standard?
Amanda Masek, Rusty and Julie's 27-year-old daughter, wasn't so sure. "I've always said I'm afraid we weren't trashy enough," said Amanda, laughing. "We don't have people getting drunk, we don't have scantily clad women, we don't show all the trash people want to watch. Not that there's not drama, but it's more like family drama."
A look at the show's first two episodes proves her point. In one, the family drafts 15 people to help build an addition to the family's barn with stalls for horses. In another, airing at 9 p.m. Thursday, Rusty learns state officials have concluded he can't house a player on the school's football team and also coach its running backs.
Rusty eventually took a break from coaching so the student staying with him, Davin Truedell, could keep his dream of playing football alive. Davin, 19, is shown meeting with the school's principal, who tells Davin he has attended 11 schools in three years and it could take two more years to graduate from high school.
It's not the hair-pulling drama of a show like "Dance Moms" or "Mafia Wives"; frankly, for fans of such series, the Bullochs' family-friendly stories might even seem a bit boring.
Producers asked Rusty to wait before telling Julie about his coaching job, so they could position cameras to catch the scene. "He wasn't really emotional until he had to speak about it," said Julie, noting they both shed tears once he delivered the news. "He's a man's man. When his eyes tear up, Lord have mercy, I lost it, too," she said.
The Bullochs remain determined to preserve their unique family dynamics.
''One of the sound guys working on the show told us, 'Your life is going to change, but you don't have to,' " Rusty said. "I mean, I scrape poop out of horse feet every day; I'm not about to get a big head."