Jere Sheldon was born near the cattle town of Gilroy, California, in 1890. He spent most of his boyhood days on the famous Bloomfield Ranch, where his father was superintendent for Henry Miller, the "Cattle King of the West". His elementary and high school education was in the Gilroy schools. He graduated from Stanford University in 1915 and took postgraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley.
On finishing his work at Berkeley, Jere was employed by the United States Forest Service for a short period prior to enlisting in the Army during World War I. After serving in both France and Germany during the war, Jere returned to Santa Clara County and entered the cattle business, operating ranches near Gilroy and Morgan Hill.
Jere was a progressive and industrious cattleman and a leader in the industry. He served as president of the Santa Clara County Cattlemen's Association and for many years was a state director for the California Cattlemen's Association. He served on many important committees relative to the advancement of the beef cattle business: he was a director of the Santa Clara County Fair and took an active interest in rodeos in Gilroy and Morgan Hill.
With his friendly, polite, and courteous manner, Jere typified the West in all its entirety. He was an expert horseman and an excellent judge of beef cattle. He assisted in organizing many educational meetings that pertained to the breeding of high quality cattle and better nutrition through range and pasture improvement. He and his wife, Lillie, had one daughter, Barbara.