Jacob Sheep at 2007 Jefferson County Fair

Jacob Sheep are a very ancient breed that probably originated in Syria some 3000 years ago. Pictorial evidence traces the breed's movement through North Africa, Sicily, Spain, and on to England. Jacob sheep were imported into the U.S. for game parks and zoos around the turn of the century. Additional imports from Britain in the 1950s and 60s enhanced the genetic pool, at the time the breed was dwindling. Active preservation efforts saved what was left of the breed and established a healthy genetic pool which assures the breed's survival.