Cattle Market Trendline

I subscribe to a weekly market summary put out by The Cattle Range every Saturday morning.   These weekly updates always begin with a 10-Day Market Trendline and a 30-Day Market Trendline.   These give me a quick overview of our markets and where they might be headed. The Trendlines are indicators of overall cattle/beef market strength and are based on daily market factors.   Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 12 market indicators compared to the previous trading day.   The angle indicates direction and velocity of…

We Want YOU…

Reject the Status Quo –

Ag economist Danny Klinefelter explains how you can get a competitive edge simply by rejecting the status quo.   That’s right… by rejecting the status quo.   Klinefelter says, “The only truly sustainable competitive advantage today is the ability to learn and adapt faster than your competition.”  Click on the link below to listen to what he has to say. The Best Managers Reject the Status Quo

Competitive Advantage

The lead-off article in our 2017 Winter Newsletter was entitled “Do You Have a Competitive Advantage.”   I bring this up simply as a reminder.   We firmly believe having a competitive advantage will be the difference between mere survival and true success in the future.   There is no reason that you cannot have a competitive advantage – if you want one.   It is up to you!   There are two primary types of competitive advantages – a cost advantage and a differential advantage. A cost advantage exists when a business is able…

Talk is Cheap

This time of year, I glance through hundreds of catalogs and advertisements for bull sales.   With very few exceptions, everyone is essentially offering the same product.   It is extremely rare to find anyone with a program or a product that differs much from the status quo.   Some may talk about the importance of fertility, fleshing ability, cow size, maintenance costs, etc., but very, very few have a product that will actually make a difference. One bull sale ad stated, “Ranchers need low-cost / low-input cattle…”   Since this is exactly what…

The Most Important Economic Trait

If profit is the goal, then fertility is by far the most important trait cow-calf producers should be selecting for.   Studies have shown reproductive traits are twice as important as growth traits, which are twice as important as carcass traits.   Ironically, the status quo beef industry has been selecting almost exclusively for growth and carcass traits for the last 40-plus years – all at the expense of reproduction. Because the heritability of growth and carcass traits is very high, it is relatively easy to make changes in those traits.   Unfortunately,…

Spring Newsletter 2017

  Spring 2017 Newsletter Our lead-off article discusses the importance of considering what is best for the future of your family when making management decisions.   The decisions you make or don’t make will have a very profound effect on the future of your family farm or ranch.   This is a responsibility that should not be ignored or taken lightly.   Unfortunately, we see far too many cow-calf producers procrastinating and taking the “stick your head in the sand” approach to management.   Ignorance may be bliss – but it is a very…

Low-Maintenance Bulls

No one sells as many ultra-low-maintenance bulls as Pharo Cattle Company.   For nearly three decades, we have bred and selected for cattle that can do the most for the least.   Many PCC customers have told us they get as much or more growth from our so-called “low-growth” bulls as they did from the “high-growth” bulls they used to use.   How can that be?   It’s very simple… their environment cannot support the high-growth (high-maintenance) genetics they used to use.

Pleasure Rides with Braylee

The weather was nice enough last weekend for Papa Kit and 5-year-old Braylee Pharo to take a couple of pleasure rides.   Braylee likes to put a few snacks in my saddle bags so we can have a “picnic” out in the pasture.   There are few things I would rather do than go riding with Braylee.   I hope we will have the opportunity to ride in the mountains at the cabin someday.   Braylee is always full of questions.   Sometimes she repeats my answers with a question mark attached.   Sometimes she just…

Pre-Sale Meetings

We will have pre-sale meetings in Texas on April 2nd and in Missouri on April 5th.   We have not yet decided about Colorado.   Our featured guest speaker will be Jim Gerrish.   Jim is one of the most sought after speakers around the world.   He is a one of the original Herd Quitters.   Jim knows what is required to maximize enjoyment and profit in the cattle business – and he has a unique way of sharing that information.   As always, our pre-sale meetings are free and open to the public.   Feel…

Winter Coat

Most of us have one or two winter coats.   Sometimes we wear more than one coat at the same time.   Winter is a time of shorter days and colder temperatures.   Unless you live in the tropics, you need to wear a coat most of the time during the winter months. God created cattle to have a summer hair coat and a winter hair coat.   That allows them to survive temperature extremes from 40 below zero to 120 degrees. I’ve seen lots and lots of calves born – in every season…

Enjoya-BULL

Monday afternoon, I received a phone call from Jim Kinder, a cow-calf producer in Oklahoma who has been using PCC bulls exclusively for nine or ten years.   Jim said, “I was just sitting here doing nothing, and thought I should give you a call.”   He went on to say, “I nearly had to fire my hired help, because they have nothing to do.” At first I thought Jim was calling with a complaint – but I was struggling to understand what the problem was.   I soon realized Jim was happy…

We Believe

 We believe… the most amazing things take place outside our comfort zone.   Look around you.   Those who are truly happy, satisfied and successful are those who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone.   They are not afraid to attempt what others say cannot be done.   They are not afraid of failure.   They learn from their mistakes and move on.   In contrast, those who are unhappy, unsatisfied and discontented are those who are unwilling to step out of their very small comfort zone.   Quote Worth Re-Quoting –…

Challenging Traditions

For some reason, it seems to be in my nature to challenge traditions and the status quo.   This has happened in several areas of my life – including business, politics and religion.   I don’t really know why this is – but I hope some good will come of it. Just because something is a tradition does not make it bad.   However, it is easy to get stuck in a rut that is headed in the wrong direction if you’re not careful.   I’ve been stuck in a few of those ruts…

We Believe

We believe… it is better to walk alone than to walk with a crowd that is going the wrong direction.   If you follow the crowd and do what everyone is doing, you will never be above average – and you will never have a competitive advantage.   We also believe you should stand up for what you believe – even if you have to stand alone.

The Up-Periscope Syndrome

A periscope is a very handy instrument used to observe activity above the water’s surface from a submerged submarine.   When the command “up periscope” is given the periscope is raised for use.   Once in place, it has the ability to swivel around for surveillance in all directions. We often refer to disposition problems in cattle as the up-periscope syndrome.   When you come in close contact with a herd of cattle, those with a nervous disposition will quickly raise their heads in the air and start looking back and forth like…

Traits We Evaluate and Score

Disposition is just one of several traits we evaluate and score in the evaluation ally.   We also evaluate and score Fleshing Ability, Thickness, Muscling, Masculinity, Overall Rating, Hair Coat and Fly Resistance.   Open the link below to learn more about what we are looking for when scoring these traits. Traits We Evaluate and Score In addition to the traits listed above, we also provide scores for Calving Ease, Cow Longevity, Low Maintenance and Udder Conformation.   NO ONE provides you with as much useful information as we do – and NO…

Comfort Zone

We talk a lot about getting out of our comfort zones – but we have never talked much about what defines a comfort zone.   Each and every one of us has a comfort zone.   My comfort zone is the paradigm or box I have put myself in.   I feel safe and comfortable in my comfort zone.   However, if no ever challenges me to think or to look outside the box I have put myself in, I become trapped.   In a world that is constantly changing, being trapped in my comfort…

Food for Thought

The following quote has been attributed to Thomas Edison.   I think it speaks volumes about the status quo’s herd-mentality way of thinking – or lack thereof. “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” In my opinion… it’s not that 85% of the people would rather die than think; it’s that they are simply too lazy and/or afraid to think for themselves.   It is easier to go along with the herd-mentality way of thinking.  …

The Ten Cannots

  By William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962)  You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character…

Spring Calving

I check a few internet discussion websites on a regular basis just to see what the status quo whiz kids are saying and thinking.   This is often quite entertaining.   I noticed several are talking about their recent experiences with “Spring Calving” – both good and bad.   Spring calving?   Are they delusional?   What kind of calendar are they using?   We are as close to the middle of winter as we can be!   It’s a good thing most of these whiz kids have an off-farm job.   That is the only way…

PCC Star Ratings

In addition to EPDs, weights, ratios and ultrasound data, Pharo Cattle Company provides star ratings for the following traits on our sale bulls.   A 5-star rating is the best – with 3-star being about average…   Disposition Calving Ease Cow Longevity Udder Conformation Low Maintenance Fleshing Ability Thickness Muscling Masculinity Overall Rating Hair Coat Fly Resistance   NO ONE else in this business has even attempted to provide you with as much useful information as we do.   To help you utilize all of this information, we created our unique Quick Sort…

Winter 2017 Newsletter

Do You Have a Competitive Advantage?   Although most farmers and ranchers rarely if ever think about having a competitive advantage, they should. Anyone who has a business should strive to have a competitive advantage. Like it or not, your business is competing with other businesses for its share of the consumer’s disposable income. When a business is able to sustain profits that exceed the average for its industry…(click the PCC Newslette below to continue reading).

Genetics for Marbling

You might have noticed that all three of the front-page articles in the December edition of the Stockman Grass Farmer involve grass-feeding or grass-finishing cattle.   In Anibal Pordomingo’s article “Fat is the Critical Element in a Good Eating Grass-fed Beef Animal”, he discusses the type of cattle that finish well and hence have a pleasing taste and texture to the consumer.   He writes, “Genetics for marbling also correlate with early-maturing, low to medium frame cattle (frame scores of 3 to 4).”  Sound familiar? Dr. Pordomingo also points out achieving good…

New Year’s Resolutions

Most people don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because they never keep them.   They view them as a waste of time.   On top of that, it is discouraging and depressing when they realize they failed to keep the resolutions they made. However, some people have a very good track record with goals and resolutions.   They view resolutions as a tool to create their future.   These are people who seem to accomplish more in one year than most of people accomplish in 10 years.   What is the key to their success? The following…

Goodbye 2016

This past year had a humbling effect on many cow-calf producers.   Calf prices steadily declined until 500-pound steers were worth $500 less than they were just one year ago – and $750 less than they were two years ago.   In this business, that is a HUGE change – in the wrong direction!   The 2016 income for most cow-calf producers will likely be less than half what it was in 2014. Thankfully, cattle prices have been trending slightly upward for most of the last two months.   I have not found anyone,…

Create the Future of Your Dreams

If success was easy, everyone would be remarkably successful.   Unfortunately, very few people can be classified as remarkably successful.   Success, however, does appear to be easy for some people.   If you look closer, you will discover that those people are extremely driven and focused.   They make things happen.   They see opportunities that most people miss.   They are not afraid to step outside their comfort zone.   They are not afraid to try what others say cannot be done. We still believe there will continue to be more opportunities for you and…

From Expense to Profit

I was recently conversing with a gentleman who has managed a lot of cattle in his lifetime.  He looked over at a small outfit with tons of equipment in the yard, and slowly shook his head.  “Why do people invest so much money in equipment, when cattle can do the majority of that work for them?” he asked.  I smiled and thought about Pharo Cattle Company’s mantra of not interfering with nature.  So often we think that Man has a better way, only to find out that Nature knew what she…

Do People Know What They Want?

For the last two weeks, we have been discussing the concept of selling people what they want – instead of what they need.   There is a big difference.   Once our basic needs have been met, we can’t help but think about the things we want.   If we want something badly enough, we will do our best to change it from a want to a need.   That is what the above Cowboy Logic refers to.   For example, I really want a new pair of boots.   After a while, I want those…

Sell People What They Want

Last week, we introduced the concept of selling people what they want – instead of what they need.   There is a big difference.   In the most simplistic terms, there are only five basic needs our bodies require to survive.   They are air, water, food, shelter and sleep.   Let’s compare a couple of our basic needs to what we might want.   We need minimum nutrition – but we want an abundance of foods that taste good.   We need basic shelter which may consist of nothing more than warm and waterproof outerwear –…

Does the World Need What We Produce?

To stimulate some outside-the-box thinking, I often ask cow-calf producers who attend my speaking engagements to raise their hand if they think the demand for beef will increase in the next five years.   Because of a growing world population, most producers will raise their hand.   Next, I ask if they think the world needs what they produce.   Once again, nearly all of the producers will raise their hand. Folks, don’t ever be deceived into thinking the world needs what we produce.   It doesn’t!   Believe it or not, the world would…

Fall Bull Sale Results

We sold 408 low-maintenance PCC Solar Bulls in our three fall bull sales for an average price of $4870 – with a range of $2000 to $12,500.    These bulls were sold into 33 different states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia.   We also sold 32 private treaty bulls for an average price of $2753. Individual sale prices have been posted in our online Fall Sale Catalog.   As expected, customers were willing to pay a premium for Calving Ease, Fleshing Ability and Disposition. Worldwide demand for our Solar Bulls…

We Do Much More

Here at Pharo Cattle Company, we do much more than just sell bulls. We provide a program and a way of thinking that are focused on increasing pounds and profit per acre – in good times and in not-so-good times. Our low-maintenance bulls are just one part of this program. Our business is helping you – and we take it very seriously.

Quote Worth Re-Quoting

 “Success is a journey – not a destination.”   ~ Ben Sweetland

Change the Cow

Cows must fit their environment to stay in production.   Common sense tells us it is much easier, as well as much more profitable, to change the cow to fit her environment than it is to artificially change the environment to fit the cow.   Your environment can only support so much size, growth and milk.   Once you go beyond that point, you will have to reduce stocking rates and/or use expensive inputs to artificially change the environment.   That may have worked when calf prices were ridiculously high two years ago –…

One Down and Two To Go! Nebraska Sale was a success….

Around 60 people from at least eight different states attended the pre-sale meeting in Valentine, Nebraska, to hear Kit Pharo speak.   Kit reports that it was extremely refreshing to be around so many cow-calf producers with a positive attitude, who are excited and optimistic about the future.   Kit will also be speaking at the Ohio and Colorado pre-sale meetings. We had 49 registered bidders at the sale – from six different states. There were 39 people using our Stay-At-Home options – from 12 different states, as well as Australia.. The…

Family Matters-

Most farms and ranches are family-owned businesses.   Some have been passed on from one generation to the next.   If you are like most cow-calf producers, you hope to pass your operation on to your kids and to their kids.   Although not always possible, each generation would like to enlarge and/or improve their operation before passing it on.   This would make it possible for more family members to be involved – without subsidizing the farm or ranch with outside money. If your farm or ranch was once…

Sticking Your Head in the Sand… …is NOT a Management Strategy

Ignorance may be bliss – but it is a very poor management strategy. Ignoring your problems may be easier than dealing with them, but it will not make them go away. Eventually, you will have to face reality – and deal with it. Sooner is almost always better than later. As a cow/calf producer, your farm or ranch is your business and you are most likely the manager of that business. You, no doubt, have many jobs to tend to, but no job is as important as the job of…

Calving Ease Comparison

In last week’s PCC Update, I compared maintenance requirements of the AI sires in the latest ABS and Genex catalogs to the bulls we will be selling in our three fall bull sales.   Since most seedstock producers use bulls promoted and marketed by the major AI companies, I would consider those bulls to be status quo bulls. There was NO comparison!   Nearly half of the big-name AI sires only have 1-star for low-maintenance – meaning they are in the bottom 20% of the breed.   In contrast, 99%…

Quick Sort Tips

Sort for one or two traits and see how many bulls made your sort.   Sort for another trait and see how many bulls you lose.   You can sort and resort many times.   If you lose a lot of bulls, you might want to reconsider the sort you just made.   Consider changing a 4 to a 3+ or a 5 to a 4+. Once you are satisfied with your sort, you should spend time looking for bulls that you do not like – for whatever reason.  …

A Cowboy Hat and a Dream

I am fortunate enough to know several very successful cattlemen who started out with nothing more than a cowboy hat and a dream.   They did what everyone in the status quo herd said could not be done.   I have always been greatly impressed and inspired by such people.   Some of these people did not even have an agricultural background. In my opinion, that was more of a blessing than a curse.   They were not handicapped or hindered by status quo ways of thinking and traditions. As…

Hot Topic: Cow Size

Every morning, I glance through beef publications and articles – both in hardcopy and on the internet.   There have been very few mornings that I didn’t see an article about “cow size.”   It seems to have replaced “fly control” as the hottest topic going.   Everyone wants to talk about cow size.   Unfortunately, at least half of the people doing the talking don’t know what they are talking about. I could tell you all the reasons why I think “cow size” is such a HOT topic, but…

Cowboy Logic

 “Think small. Big ideas upset people.”

Fall 2016 Newsletter

Our Fall 2016 Newsletter was sent to the printer last week.   It should be mailed out on Friday.   You, however, can read our newsletter today simply by clicking on the image below.   Once opened, you can print it for easier reading. Our lead-off article discusses the major changes that are taking place at the cow-calf level of the beef industry – and our need to adapt.   Many PCC subscribers adapted before these changes began.   We suspect, however, that most of our subscribers have not yet adapted….

Do Small Cows Make More Money?

For years, indeed decades, the argument over cow size has been bantered about by cattle producers. Now, adding to the debate, research from Wyoming shows smaller cows can produce more beef per acre, as well as produce more income. The research report is available in the journal Rangelands and it shows, in the plainest terms, that 1,000-pound cows on the working university ranch in Wyoming are weaning more pounds of beef than any other category of cows up to 1,400 pounds. Because they can be run at higher stocking rate,…

Bull Workdays Fall 2016

Ohio… We will have one bull workday in Ohio on Saturday, August 20th. We will start working bulls at 9:00 am Eastern Time. From Cadiz, Ohio… drive 5.1 miles southeast on Highway 250. Turn right onto Jamison Road, and drive 9/10 of a mile. Turn right into the driveway. No need to RSVP. Colorado… We will have three bull workdays at PCC Headquarters in Colorado on August 22-24. We will start working bulls around 8:30 to 9:00 am Mountain Time. We are located 28 miles south of Burlington and 8 miles…

Quote Worth Re-quoting

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” ~ Mark Twain

Tighten Your Belt and Plan Ahead

We have not seen a true bottom of a cattle cycle since 1996. That was 20 years ago.   While most cattlemen whined and complained about the low prices, a few took advantage of the situation.   There have always been more opportunities to advance in a down market than in an up market — but only for those who can break away from the status quo, herd-mentality way of thinking. In 2012, we were receiving record-high prices for our calves.   This continued in 2013 and 2014 as prices…

2 Cents on Beefmaster

I guess it is time for me to share my two cent’s worth… Growing up in the 1960s, Tom Lasater was my mentor and hero. He had an ad every month on the inside cover of the Western Livestock Journal – where he shared his philosophies, as well as pictures of his cattle. Lasater used the “survival of the fittest” concept to develop the Beefmaster breed. I was impressed! Form will follow function if man can stay out of the way. Very few producers, however, can stay out of the…