“You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy”. Those words were coined for Merlyn Vandervort. From the youthful age of 9 years old Merlyn has spent a great deal of his life on farms and ranches. Every summer starting when he was barely a teenager, up until his early twenties; Merlyn traveled the countryside competing in horse shows and rodeos. Merlyn specialized in rough stock riding, and was trained to be a skilled bull rider by the legendary Jim Shoulders. In addition to having more world titles than any other cowboy in history at that time; Shoulders owned the infamous bull; “Tornado”.

Merlyn’s father owned a small hobby ranch in Wisconsin, and raised and showed quarter horses. The farms hay fields weren’t large enough to produce enough hay to feed all of their horses thru the cold Wisconsin winters, so Merlyn’s father volunteered Merlyn and his brother Jerry to work their uncles farms throughout the summer in exchange for the additional hay needed to get thru the winter. Bailing hay from sun up to sun down six days a week for months on end, summer after summer; nearly cured Merlyn from ever wanting to be a farmer; but once it’s in your blood, it’s pretty hard to shake.
Merlyn’s brother Jerry, went on to earn a degree in agriculture, and owns a sprawling ranch and horse stables in Topeka Kansas (the Rockn V Ranch); and Merlyn developed his own horse ranch on Truman Lake (Cedar Creek Ranch). Today Merlyn continues the ranching life he began nearly forty years ago; and raises Quarter horses, and Fox Trotters, and breeds Certified Angus cattle on his

family’s Lake of the Ozarks Ranch; “Christina Dawn”, appropriately named after Merlyn’s wife.
Merlyn would be the first to admit that he’s no expert farmer or rancher, but he has a genuine love and appreciation for farming and ranch life. “I’ll always be a little bit of a cowboy at heart, and hope to always spend as much time as I can in the country”.