Kendall Rae Johnson, a 6-year-old girl from South Fulton, Georgia, is making history as the youngest certified farmer in Georgia. ABC News reports the agriculture enthusiast received her business entity for aGROWKulture at the state and federal level.
Now that she’s an official farmer, the 6-year-old will have the ability to apply for grants and scholarships, and she will also be able to purchase land under her business name. She’s also become a member of several Georgia farming organizations like Georgia Grown and the Georgia Farm Bureau.
Johnson’s mother, Ursula Johnson, says her daughter gets her gardening skills from her great-grandmother Laura “Kate” Williams. Kendall initially expressed interest in growing fruits and vegetables, and now her garden offers a variety of foods including zucchini, carrots, squash, okra and strawberries.
“She started out in a patio garden and the patio garden grew from a little bitty something to, by the time her fourth birthday came, we had a full-fledged garden in our backyard,” Ursula told the outlet. “And then we moved, and now she has a farm.”
The small entrepreneur has also opened a monthly gardening club, teaching children in her circle where their food actually comes from. She’s helped fundraise $85,000 in support of young farmers by doing speaking engagements at press conferences after being discovered by Georgia State Rep. Mandisha Thomas.
The city of South Fulton showed how much stock they have in the young farmer by recently presenting her with the Steward of Agriculture Award, according to The Atlanta Voice. Elected officials from the city gathered to honor Kendall’s “enthusiasm” and ambition.
“When I first met Kendall … at the garden, the enthusiasm — I wish more people had the kind of enthusiasm that Kendall Rae Johnson has,” City of South Fulton Mayor Bill Williams told the crowd.
Ursula shares that her daughter is not only the youngest farmer in Georgia but also the youngest Black farmer — adding some much-needed representation to an industry that doesn’t typically include many people of color. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, less than 2% of farmers in the United States are Black.
“When you go to these meetings and you go to these conferences and things of that nature, nine times out of 10 you won’t see anyone as young as Kendall there,” Ursula said. “It was so important and so inspiring that they invited her to just come, sit in, listen, even if she doesn’t understand what is going on.”
As for the 6-year-old, Kendall says her goal is to “make new friends, make new things and inspire other kids.”