Our Mission –

 

As stated on page 2 of our quarterly newsletters, Pharo Cattle Company’s mission has always been to help ranchers put more fun and profit into their business.   Ranching is a great way of life, but if it is not profitable and enjoyable it will never be sustainable.   Having one without the other won’t last long.

The average cow-calf producer in America is over 60 years of age.  

Are You Interested or Committed?

 

Last week, I watched a short video clip from “Training With Trent.”   Trenton Pierce asked, “Are you interested in or are you committed to your goals?”   Great food for thought!   There is a HUGE difference!   I thought I would expand on his thoughts and maybe make them a little more applicable to most of our subscribers.

We all have dreams and aspirations.   Unfortunately most people never become committed to their dreams and aspirations.   I think this is because they are afraid of failure.  

Already Dead –

 

Henry Ford once said, “The man who is too set to change is dead already.   The funeral is a mere detail.”   I had to read that quote a couple of times before I fully understood how powerful it is – and how appropriate it is to the current beef industry.   You may have to do the same thing.

I want you to think back to the drastic changes that were taking place when Henry Ford made this bold statement.  

Time to Change Horses

Visualize, if you will, an old cowpoke riding an old plug horse that stumbles along with its head just a foot off the ground.   The cowpoke represents a lot of today’s cow-calf producers — perhaps most of today’s cow-calf producers.   The old horse represents an outdated paradigm that will not allow the producer to be profitable.   If the producer doesn’t change horses, he will eventually go out of business, or be forced to subsidize his business with outside income.   At that point, the business is no longer working for him.  

Reaching Your Destination –

Imagine, if you will, that you are driving east on a highway with plans to meet up with a friend in a certain town.   You come to a Y in the road.   To continue traveling east toward your destination, you should have taken the left-hand fork – but you mistakenly chose the right-hand fork.

Now you are driving south on a different highway toward a totally different destination.   Once you realize you are on the wrong road, how long will you continue before turning back?  

Solving Problems –

Problems are unavoidable.   They are a part of life and a part of business.   Each and every one of us will eventually have problems to solve.   How do you solve your problems?   Where do you look for solutions?

Most people today have been programmed to spend an inordinate amount of money on chemical, technical and mechanical solutions that are almost always temporary at best.   We often overlook the less complicated solutions previous generations were forced to employ.

The Hottest Topic –

This time of year, the hottest topic within the beef industry is fly control.   Everyone is talking about fly control!   Since flies have become resistant to nearly all of the toxic chemicals that were created to control them, fly problems have done nothing but get worse over the last 50 years.   Every year, everyone is frantically looking for the latest toxic chemical to control their ever-increasing fly problems.   How long do you think the latest control will work?   Not very long.  

Why does the beef industry continue to treat the symptoms of the problem while it totally ignores the problem?  

Dud Bulls and Shy Bulls –

I often have customers call me up to tell me they have a dud bull.   A dud bull is a bull that is not interested in breeding cows.   While cows are riding one another and at least one cow is obviously in standing heat, the bull will be lying down calmly chewing his cud – oblivious to all the action taking place.

I tell the customer that the only way we can know for sure what is going on is to be there 24 hours a day.  

The Willingness to Change –

Whether you want to believe it or not, your long-term success in the cow-calf business will be dependent on your willingness to make some changes.   We all have the ability to change – but not everyone has the willingness to change.   Unfortunately, most producers will not change until they are forced to change.

Cattle prices will continue to go up and down, up and down – while the cost of inputs will continue to go up, up, up.   In the last 50 years,

The Herd Quitter Concept –

 

From the inception of Pharo Cattle Company, we have always been very different from the mainstream beef industry.   In the mid-1980s, we realized the beef industry was headed in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed.   While nearly everyone else was focused on increasing the size of their cattle, we said, “It doesn’t matter how big your cattle are if they’re not profitable.”   We decided to provide an alternative to the “bigger is better” way of thinking.

Double Your Profits –

We continue to believe most cow-calf producers can double their profits once they STOP focusing on increasing pounds per individual calf and START focusing on increasing pounds per acre.   There is a BIG difference!   We know ranchers who have more than quadrupled their net profits after changing their focus.

For the past 50 years… the status quo beef industry has been single-mindedly focused on increasing individual weaning weights – and they have had great success.   Although this provided some bragging rights,

Australia Sale Results –

Our Second Annual Australia Bull Sale was a huge success!   We are extremely excited about the future.   More and more cow-calf producers in Australia understand the differences between our program and traditional programs.   They know the future belongs to those who are not afraid to think for themselves and are able to change with the times.   Time does not stand still!

Unofficially, we sold 54 bulls in less than an hour for an average price of $6230 – with a range of $2000 to $12,500.  

Is Average Good Enough?

In commodity agriculture, average is breakeven at best.   Below average producers are losing money.   The only way they can stay in business is to subsidize the farm or ranch with outside income.   Above average producers are profitable.   Some are extremely profitable.   They are profitable because their management differs substantially from average producers.

Most PCC Customers are well above average.   Many have more than doubled their profits.   They are focused on production per acre – instead of production per cow (bragging rights).  

What Have We Learned?

The panic created by the coronavirus pandemic seems to be relaxing its grip on most people around the world.   It’s time to crawl out from under the bed and get back to living our lives again.   It’s time to get back to work and play.   It is also a time to reflect back on what we have just experienced – and ask, “What have we learned?”

As I look back over the last three months, I can list several things I have learned and/or confirmed.  

Is it Time to Change Horses?

Your survival in the cow-calf business will be dependent on your ability to switch paradigms (horses).   The old-horse paradigm is the result of a time when land was unbelievably cheap – at least by today’s standards.   It is also the result of cheap feed and cheap fuel.   Gasoline could be purchased for 25 cents per gallon in the early 1970s.   Labor was cheap – and equipment was cheap.   The old-horse way of doing things made sense 40 to 50 years ago.   Unfortunately, that era is over – and it ain’t coming back!

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 of the year – but I have NEVER seen a calf born with a winter hair coat.  

Tagging Calves –

Many cow-calf producers think it is sacrilegious to not ear tag calves at birth.   Most do it because they have always done it.   Several years ago, the PCC Discussion Group came up with several “Kooky Notions” that the members used to have.   Ear tagging calves at birth was one of those kooky notions.   I’m sure many subscribers are saying, “What’s wrong with tagging calves at birth?” 

To begin with, each and every one of your cows knows which calf is hers – without an ear tag.  

The Three Cs –

Circumstances are where you are right now.   You had no control over some of your circumstances.   Circumstances of your birth and childhood, for example, are not the result of any choices you made.   Other circumstances, however, are the consequence of choices you have made.

Choices are what you make happen to alter your circumstances.   The choices or decisions you don’t make can have as much of an effect on your circumstances as the choices and decisions you do make.

Bottleneck in the Beef Supply Chain –

Several major meat packing plants have had to reduce production capacity because workers are being infected with the coronavirus.   It is believed that much of the transfer of this virus takes place when workers get together after work.   One packing plant in Colorado has 6000 workers that speak 23 different languages.   I’m sure it is difficult to get some of the workers to understand the importance of social distancing.

When production capacity at the packing plants is reduced,