Terms of Sale
do we raise Jacobs? How did we decide on Jacobs? After living in the
Seattle area and raising our family there, we opted for early career
retirement to return to Iowa to preserve and protect the family
farm. Small family farms today are indeed an endangered resource.
What to do with this scenic, but hilly and limestone studded land? We
needed to be good stewards of the land, have a crop that we could
handle together, that would educate the community as well as
ourselves, and would be environmentally sound. We narrowed the
possibilities to sheep or goats raised on the land with a minimum of
tillage. Then Marianne visited England and discovered the most
beautiful cloth on bolts at a Cotswolds woolen mill and the dream was
born . . .
We started with eight ewes and two rams and they arrived in Iowa prior
to our permanent move here. Our ewe flock has always been the
cornerstone of our Jacob endeavor. We purchased the very best ewes
we could find and then built on their individual quality, mothering
ability and lambing performance. They did not let us down and we have
kept the lines of these “Jacob eight” going to this day. New
bloodlines are introduced in our flock through flock rams.
We have stringent health goals; we believe “cleanliness is next to
godliness.” Perhaps we are not squeaky clean every day, but our aim
is to clean our our barns weekly, jugs every other day during
lambing. The sheep get lots of fresh air, sunshine and exercise
running up and down the limestone hills. The Harmony (Minnesota)
Veterinary Clinic is our regular vet source. They know our flock and
help keep us apprised on animal health issues. We participated in the
USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) 2001 Sheep
Study and we are registered in the National Scrapies Eradication
Program. We are members of the Iowa Sheep Industry Association and
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, as well as the Jacob Sheep
Our farm hosts many visitors — not only to look at these rare sheep,
but to learn more of farm life. This is an interesting and
picturesque corner of the state, and we are on the Winneshiek County
Tourism map. We also host school children, college classes, weavers
and spinners and other educational groups .
JSBA members and friends provide us with friendship, support and
counsel and we thank the many breeders who have purchased starter
flocks from us, added our sheep to existing flocks, as well as those
who come to look and to learn and perhaps to dream . . . .