Of all the sheep we have seen, this one has to be the most unusual. With bold spots and two horns or four (varied shapes, but reaching up toward the sky on the top set, curling in loops on the bottom set), this animal looks very much like something you would see on the tram tour at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It is thought by some to be the sheep mentioned in Genesis 30, hence the origin of "Jacob" in the naming of the Jacob American Sheep. That Biblical reference is also said to be the to be the oldest mention of selective breeding (with Jacob's livestock breeding program, not the racy story about Jacob and Rachel and Leah, though Jacob obviously thought that applied as well in choosing a wife or two and starting a rather large family).
Karen at Bide a Wee Farm in Oregon was a wonderfully gracious host, and took us on a tour of her farm on a very hot summer day, discussing the Jacob American and Navajo Churro flocks and why she chose the breeds. She also tried to explain to us what seemed to be a Rubik's Cube-type puzzle of higher math for the components of the breeding decisions necessary in her flock. Maintaining long-term genetic health and vigor -- and the quest to meet a very exacting breed standard -- is not an easy thing when raising the Jacob American sheep, but we believe she is exactly the person to do it.
...And, we must say, we did get to see the largest llama we have ever set eyes on, three very happy dogs that our P.A. Emily got to play with for an hour and wild blackberries galore for her to eat, an introduction to an abattoir (a new one for us), and Rick came home with a crazy set of horns for the studio that look like something from the Star Wars Cantina. What a bizarre, exciting, exhausting, and truly interesting visit.