The Ten Cannots

By William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962)

  1. You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

In The Beginning…

In the beginning, God created the cow to eat the grass and other forages that man was not able to eat or digest. I’m sure God’s original cow was very efficient at converting low quality forages into milk and meat. Because of her unique four-stomach digestive system, she was able to eat and digest plants that could not be utilized by man or most other animals. I don’t know what color she was and I don’t know what shape or size she was, but I do know she had the genetic ability to adapt to many different environments.

Make Things Happen

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 them as tools to create their future.   These people seem to accomplish more in one year than most people accomplish in 10 or 20 years.   What is the secret of their success?

Random Thoughts from the Corner Chair

Happy New Year to all.

By Brett Pharo (January 1, 2018)

It was quite a ride in 2017.  Not always fun, but certainly interesting.  Much of the interest has been due to it being the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.  For better or worse, whether you like him or hate him, his election has illuminated much about America.  As has been said, the election of Trump did not cause the hatred and intolerance of the “Liberals.”  It just exposed them.  Believe me,

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 world needs the beef they produce.   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 be able to function quite well without us and without the beef we produce.   Beef is a great-tasting,

Thin Steaks

I recently read an article in the Washington Post entitled “Cattle Have Gotten So Big Restaurants and Grocery Stores Need New Ways to Cut Steaks.”   Let me remind you, the Washington Post is NOT a beef industry publication.   However, it is read by thousands and thousands of beef consumers.   I will share a Few Excerpts from This Article along with my thoughts – for your consideration.

If you’ve dined at a steakhouse recently or grilled a rib-eye for dinner,

Price Rollback Sale Info

We recently took inventory and discovered we have 12 PCC Solar Bulls we need to find new homes for.   These bulls were pulled from our Nebraska and Colorado bull sales for various reasons.   They are good to go.   This offering includes eight Angus bulls and four Composite bulls.

Because we want to sell these bulls before the end of the year, we are going to sell them via our unique Price-Rollback Sale.   The bulls will sell on a first-come basis – at the posted base price.  

Ten Steps To Double Your Profits


If cow-calf producers want to have a prosperous future, they will need to make some major changes.   The sooner they take the first step, the sooner they will reach their destination.   I will review 10 steps required to get on the right road.   These steps are not difficult – but they will require a paradigm shift.

  • Step 1…   Focus on pounds and profit per acre – instead of per animal.   There is a BIG difference.  

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.