Jacob Warner’s childhood hero didn’t wear a cape, spandex tights, or a mask that hid his identity. Instead, he wore a scrub top, starched jeans, and a cowboy hat that highlighted his western heritage.
Warner grew up shadowing his father at the Elgin Veterinary Hospital. He came to love the veterinary profession while working alongside his dad, who specializes in beef cattle medicine and serves as a consultant to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).
Now, Warner is taking the next step in following in his hero’s footsteps when he walks the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) graduation stage on May 10 at Texas A&M University.
“My dad is my best friend,” Warner shared. “I grew up basically by his side, seeing first hand how he affected the community. He is a bovine practitioner, so I saw a lot of cattle, animal athletes, and showstock come through his practice. As I got older, I appreciated working with those special animals and animal athletes.”
Warner’s path briefly diverged from his father’s when he chose the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS).
“My dad graduated from Louisiana State University in the 1980s, so he kind of brainwashed me to love LSU,” Warner said. “Luckily, my dad’s sister married an Aggie, and he taught me more about Texas A&M, the Aggie traditions, and the Aggie ring. I fell in love with it and have wanted to be an Aggie and to have an Aggie ring and to experience the connection and community that it symbolizes ever since.”
Warner’s decision to join the Aggie family was solidified on visits to his two older sisters at Texas A&M as they pursued their DVMs at the VMBS.
“I believe the first time I stepped foot on the VMBS campus was when my oldest sister was a first-year vet student,” Warner recalled. “That weekend, the VMBS was hosting an open house event that allowed me to explore the VMBS and introduced me to what it’s like to be a student here. It was definitely a cool experience.”
Warner officially joined the Aggie family as an undergraduate student and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2017. He began his DVM studies at the VMBS upon graduation, while also working toward a master’s degree in animal science.
“My first day of DVM classes, I was nervous, because as a first-year student, you’re surrounded by people who are so intelligent and there’s this feeling of, ‘Oh my gosh! I know how to study, but I’ve never had a course load like this,’” he said. “I also knew I had big shoes to fill with my dad and felt like I had to live up to the expectations my sisters had set before me. Luckily, I made some friends and realized every other student was experiencing similar feelings. That gave me the confidence to start my own path, and now I’m ready to graduate.”
After graduation, Warner will join his father at the Elgin Veterinary Hospital where he will serve animal athletes who perform in rodeos and livestock shows as well as food animals.
“I began my undergraduate studies playing football at Blinn Junior College in Brenham,” Warner said. “I appreciate both human athletes and animal athletes and getting the opportunity to not only affect those in my direct community but also those across an industry, such as the agriculture or rodeo industries, as a whole is what drew me to and kept me interested in veterinary medicine.”
DVM graduations include a hooding ceremony during which veterinarians hood the new graduates. Warner’s hooding will be performed by three veterinarians — his two older sisters and his dad. He said he’s excited to share the moment he officially becomes an Aggie veterinarian with his family.
“It’s one thing to be a veterinarian, but it’s even more special to be an Aggie veterinarian and to share the experience with my family,” Warner said. “There is a sense of community in the veterinary profession that is special, and there’s an even closer connection between Aggie veterinarians. I’m proud to share the experience of being an Aggie veterinarian with my sisters, and I look forward to practicing with my dad back home.”
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; email@example.com; 979-862-4216