The development of the Barzona began in 1942 when F.N. Bard, an Arizona rancher, decided to develop a breed that would be adapted to their area which was rugged and rocky, with extreme temperatures, sparse rainfall, and scattered feed. He used Hereford, Angus, Afrikander and Santa Gertirudis in more or less equal parts as the basis of the breed. Production records were maintained and a rigid selection was carried out for fertility, rate of gain and mothering ability.
Only the most desirable animals were retained for the breeding program. Selection was made for hardiness traits that include good feet and legs and the ability cover rough ground and graze sparse ranges and survive in simi-desert conditions.
Modern Barzona are a hardy medium size beef animal, distinguished a longish horned or polled head. They are generally medium red, but color may vary from dark to light red.