The Pharo cattle seem to get a bad rap from many. But his sales keep doing good. His cattle are not as small as many would like you to believe.The great misconception is that a frame score is several inches, but it is only 2. To big or to small in anything does not work. The pharo cattle will fit the box.And they will grade. A frame 4 cow that weighs 1200lbs is a very complete cow.and a frame 6 cow that weighs 1200 is not much of a cow. Study after study has shown that 1150-1250 pound cows are ideal. And this is what the pharo cattle will be. I really get quite a laugh out of his bull sales where crossbred bulls sell for 4000.00, Money talks and B/S walks.
Kit Pharo presents a controversial figure in beef cattle circles because he professes a philosophy that is in opposition to the old time "- - this is the way Daddy did it, so that is the way I am going to do it! - -" way of beef cattle management. The Pharo Ranch is near the Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas border at Cheyenne Wells, CO., and the forage and grazing is minimal at best. That kind of grazing management requires a beef animal which will be hardy, tough, self-sustaining and unpampered. Their protocols stress cow longevity on a low-input, grass-based program.
Pharo's Low-Maintenance EPD's, which Kit contends works best for today's marketing and profit oriented agenda's, given the higher costs of fuel, grain and labor, seem to be working at a successful level, and he states that what has worked for the past 10 years won't work for the next 10 years. Cheap grain and cheap fuel and cheap pastures are things of the past. His says that his cows are unpampered, and have addressed all of the issues relative to fertility, energy requirements, frame size, production, structural soundness, mothering ability and disposition, and have been proven over time on his ranch and other locations as well. And he focuses strongly on cow longevity and fertility.
Many breeders of other Breeds disagree with his methods, but it is difficult to argue with success, and the facts are - his methods WORK! Not only on his ranch here in Colorado, but most other locations as well. In my discussions with breeder's, I encourage them to not throw stones if they live in glass houses. Don't knock it if they haven't tried it. It takes a lot of determination for a breeder who has ranched or farmed a certain way all of his life to switch and change most of his thinking, not only about feeding practices, but breeding and seedstock selection as well. But many breeder's have done just that very thing by following Kit's suggestions, and the one's with whom I have talked are more than satisfied with the results.
Envy and jealousy, in my opinion, seem to rear their heads also in the negative comments that one hears around the industry. But success speaks loudly, and has for many years with Kit Pharo. He travels around the country giving seminar's on his technics and philosophy, and it is your option if you wish to embrace his no-grain, grass-finished program or not. But it certainly seems to work for him.
I'm of the opinion that his "philosophy" is yet another case of a good idea that is taken to the extreme. The lead off bull in his last sale sold for $4,500 with a 370lb adj ww. The 280 lb ww bull that sold for $2,500 convinced me there's an awful lot of reputataion in the price of the bulls. We've had plenty of calves running on low input but 280 is extremely low no matter how you look at it.