Dr. Vernard Hodges was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, but raised in Fort Valley, Georgia. Growing up in rural Peach County, on a small farm, is where his passion for animals developed. As an only child, he spent countless hours nurturing and taking care of goats, cows, dogs, a cat, turtles, and countless other pets.
Hodges graduated in 1993 from Fort Valley State University as a fish biologist. Before attending veterinary school, Hodges spent a summer in Nepal and India working for the United States Agency for International Development, developing an aquaculture program at Lake Phewa. This program was established to grow fish as a source of inexpensive protein for the village residents. Dr. Hodges also participated in an aquatic internship at the University of Mississippi with hopes of becoming a marine biologist and the next “Jacques Cousteou.”
Nonetheless, his true passion for veterinary medicine was fulfilled when he applied and was accepted to the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with a degree in 1997.