Jun 4, 2010
by WLJ

James William “Bill” Jacobs

The Oklahoma cattle industry and the Hereford breed lost a longtime leader last month in Bill Jacobs. James William “Bill” Jacobs was born Dec. 18, 1944, in Santa Rosa, CA, to William Ingwer and Ruth Margaret Jameson Jacobs. He died May 29, 2010, east of Sulphur, OK, at the age of 65 years.

The family had a cow/calf and dairy operation where Jacobs worked with his father until graduating from high school. He then attended Santa Rosa Junior College for a couple years until his interest in livestock judging led him to Oklahoma State University (OSU). He returned to California after graduating from OSU in 1967 and became a professor at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo and taught there for 17 years. During that time, he coached the Cal Poly Judging Team to many championships and became a widely respected livestock judge himself, judging many shows all over the U.S. and the world.

In 1984, he resigned at Cal Poly and returned to Oklahoma where he became a partner in K74 Herefords with Cliff Knight, beginning his dream of working in production agriculture. In 1989, the Jacobs family purchased the old Turner Ranch in Sulphur, OK. Jacobs developed it into one of the premier ranches in the state, running both a cow/calf operation and a stocker program using an innovative cell grazing program. Over the years, Jacobs served as director, president, and advisor to numerous cattle organizations. He donated his time, his ranch facilities, and his considerable expertise to the advancement of Hereford cattle and the industry in general. He will be greatly missed. Survivors include his wife, Kelly; his two daughters, René Lee Guthrie and her husband, John of Porterville, CA, and Marci Ann Jacobs of Chicago, IL; son, Jason Jacobs and his wife, Tonya of Sulphur; three grandchildren, Grace Guthrie, John Wes and Harley Jacobs; and sister, Marilyn Herzog of Petaluma, CA. Memorial services for James William “Bill” Jacobs of Sulphur were held Friday, June 4, 2010, at the Sulphur United Methodist Church. Donations may be made to the OSU Foundation— Livestock Judging Team Fund (21-09500) sent in care of Mark Johnson, 109 Animal Science, Stillwater, OK 74078.