Top Ten Reason Ranch Trucks are Never Stolen

10. They only have a range of 20 miles before they break down or run out of gas.

9.   Only the owner knows how to operate the door.

8.   It is difficult to drive fast with all the fence tools, grease rags, ropes, chains, syringes, buckets, boots, hay, and loose papers flying around the cab.

7.   It takes too long to start and the smoke coming up through the rusted-out floorboard clouds your vision.


The Monkey Story

This is a story I used to share in several of my presentations.   It makes a point that most cattlemen need to hear.

First, you start with a cage containing five monkeys.   Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.   Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.   As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result – all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.  

Top Ten Reasons to Keep that Cow One More Year

10. To cull her, you’d have to catch her first.

 9. She was your dad’s first 4-H project.

 8. If there were an EPD for wrecking mineral feeders, she’d be a trait leader.

 7. She’s been in the spring herd and the fall herd several times each — you just can’t buy that kind of experience.


The Bear Track

Five-year-old Braylee Pharo talked Grammy Deanna into going for a walk in the woods near our mountain cabin.   When they returned, they showed me a picture of a track in the snow.   In excitement, I exclaimed, “That looks like a bear track!!!   Where did you find it?”


I was surprised and disappointed to find out the so-called “bear track” was made by Piper, Braylee’s miniature Dachshund dog. Grammy and Braylee had pulled a joke on Papa Kit.

Fall 2017 Bull Sale Analysis

We sold 315 low-maintenance, grass-developed bulls in our two fall bull sales for an average price of $4908 – with a range of $2000 to $12,250.   Below is a brief analysis of our two sales.   Calving ease, fleshing ability, disposition and overall rating were evaluated and scored using our unique 5-star system.   In this system, 5-star is the best and 1-star is the worst.



Seven Simple Rules to Live By

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up your present.
  2. What others think of you is none of your business.
  3. Time heals almost everything; give it time.
  4. Don’t judge or compare yourself to others; you have no idea what their journey is all about.
  5. Stop thinking too much; it’s alright to not know all the answers.
  6. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

The Elusive 1100-Pound Cow

I have visited with thousands of cow-calf producers all over North America.   With very few exceptions, these producers are all looking for the same type of momma cow.   They say they want an efficient, 1100-pound cow that can wean at least 50% of her own weight for many years – without being pampered.   That sounds doable, doesn’t it?

Later, though, when I ask about the bulls they have been using, I quickly see the problem.   Although they want to produce efficient, 1100-pound cows, they are buying bulls that were produced by 1400 to 2000-pound cows that must be pampered to stay in production.  

A Penny Saved

According to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), the cost of producing a calf has increased from $384 in 2000 to $883 in 2014.   WOW… it way more than doubled in just 14 years.   Keep in mind, though, that this is an average cost of production.   Some cow-calf producers have a much higher cost of production, while others have a much lower cost of production.

I discussed cost of production with several long-time PCC customers at our two fall bull sales.   It did not surprise me to learn that these producers have a cost of production that is less than half what the national average is.  

Results for Both Fall Sales

We sold 315 low-maintenance, grass-developed PCC Solar Bulls in our two fall bull sales for an average price of $4908.   It has been a long two weeks for everyone at PCC Headquarters.   We feel as though we have been running a marathon.   We hope to share more sale information in next week’s PCC Update.


Cowboy Logic: “I’ve been so busy I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.

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 an extended periscope.  

Threat or Opportunity

A few days ago, I shared an article with the PCC Discussion Group that summarized a recent survey of agricultural bank presidents and CEOs.   Those bankers expect a substantial increase in foreclosures for the next five years – due to what they refer to as a “slumping ag economy.”   Do you view this information as a threat or as an opportunity?

Most status quo producers see this information as a threat.   If the so-called “slumping ag economy” worsens or lasts longer than expected, they are at risk of losing their family farm or ranch.  

More Cows for More Years

In preparation for our fall bull sales, we have visited with hundreds of PCC customers.   Most have used their PCC bulls for more years than they ever thought possible.   One customer purchased three PCC Solar Bulls in the fall of 2008.   These bulls are still going strong at 10 years of age.   That’s amazing!   Several customers tell us their PCC Solar Bulls successfully cover 50 to 80 cows and/or heifers

What is a bull worth that can breed twice as many cows for twice as many years as an average bull?  

Consider the Future

Have you noticed that the most successful and happy people throughout history have been those who made decisions that were based on the future?   It’s true!   Successful people know that nothing stays the same.   The present is different from the past – and the future will be different from the present.   Those who make decisions that are based on the future will always have a HUGE competitive advantage over those who continue to make decisions based on the past and/or the present

Unfortunately, nearly all people (from all walks of life) are afraid to make decisions that are based on anything but the past or the present.  

Warren Buffet’s 10 Rules for Success

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful businessmen in the world.   On our way home from the Nebraska Bull Sale, we stopped at a Jimmy John’s for lunch.   I saw this list posted on the wall and thought it was worth sharing.   My personal favorites are 2, 3, 5, 6 and 10.

1. Reinvest Your Profits

When you first make money, you may be tempted to spend it.   Don’t.   Instead, reinvest the profits.   Buffett learned this early on.  

One Down and One to Go

Our Nebraska Bull Sale is behind us.   The pre-sale meeting with Jim Gerrish had nearly 47 cow-calf producers from at least eight different states in attendance.  

We had 45 registered bidders at the sale – from 8 different states.   There were 52 people using our Stay-At-Home options – from 19 different states and Mexico.

We sold 94 bulls in one hour for an average price of $4215 – with a range of $2000 to $9750.   These bulls were sold into 15 states and Mexico.  

Buyer’s Market

Our fall bull sales almost always create a better buyer’s market for our bull customers than do our spring bull sales.   For the most part, this is because most cow-calf producers will not need to turn their bulls out until next summer.   This may be true, but…

Not only do our fall-sale bulls cost less, they are 18 months of age.   They will be two years old next summer.   These older bulls will breed more cows with much fewer problems than yearling bulls.   Since they have been developed naturally on grass,

25 Things I Want My Ranch Kids to Know

Copyright © 2012 by Rachel J. Lohof Larsen

1. You have chores, because we love you.  They seem tedious, but they are the building blocks for your future.  Responsibility, accountability, and basic life skills begin with sweeping the floor, scrubbing the toilet, and feeding pets and livestock.  We love you, we want you to find success in life.  Success comes from preparation, so we give you chores.

2. Boredom is a choice.  Don’t let me hear you say you are bored. 

Drought Discount

We will be offering a Drought Discount at both of our fall bull sales.   You can receive up to a 10% Discount on all the bulls you purchase – based on the severity of the drought in your area.   This is our way of helping you make the best of a bad situation.

Our Drought Discount will be based on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map.   It shows five levels of drought from “Abnormally Dry” to “Exceptional Drought.”   Each level of drought is worth a 2% Discount.  

Forage-Developed Bulls

More and more seedstock producers are promoting “forage-developed” bulls.   We have checked into all of these so-called “forage” programs and have concluded that no one has a program that is as tough as PCC’s program.   Several of these forage programs feed large amounts of hay, haylage and/or silage.   Some feed a grain-based ration during the winter months.   Some use self-feeders that are regularly filled by the local Co-op truck.   Most of these so-called “forage” programs have high-maintenance cattle that would quickly fall apart in our program.

Pharo Cattle Company has been developing bulls on grass for 20 years.