Moses Jacob graduated from the veterinary medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1899. He held the highest rank in the class of ’99 and was the recipient of the J. B. Lippincott Award. He served as resident surgeon in the veterinary hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1899 to 1900, and then as the assistant inspector for the Bureau of Animal Industry of the US Department of Agriculture. In 1900 he came to Knoxville as a meat, milk, and dairy inspector, and practiced in partnership with Dr. William G. Shaw in the veterinary firm of Jacob and Shaw and established the Jacob and Shaw Veterinary Hospital on Church Avenue. In 1904–5, he served as professor of veterinary medicine and sanitary science at Iowa State College (Ames). From 1905 to 1910, he was instructor in veterinary science at UT, and part-time instructor in animal husbandry. In 1908 he developed a hog cholera vaccine that proved very successful. In 1915 he was appointed Tennessee’s state veterinarian. In 1921 he became professor of animal husbandry and veterinary science and head of both the Animal Husbandry and the Veterinary Science Departments at UT. He served as dean of the College of Agriculture from 1937 until his death in 1943.
For 15 years he was director of what was then the East Tennessee Division Fair. A horse lover, Jacob headed the fair’s livestock shows for years. Named president of the fair in 1931, he helped recharter the fair as a nonprofit group, and named it the Tennessee Valley Agricultural & Industrial Fair. Jacob oversaw the 1941 construction of the fair’s new main building, which replaced a structure that had burned in 1938. The building was named for him following his death in 1943.