6-year-old Kendall Rae Johnson has been in love with gardening all her life. Now, the Georgia native is the state’s youngest certified farmer.
Taught by her grandmother, Kendall started her first garden on a patio, and by her fourth birthday, she had a backyard yard garden filled with carrots, okra, squash, zucchini, and strawberries.
Her green thumb just didn’t extend in the walls of her garden. Kendall also wants to teach kids where food comes from. She started a monthly gardening club with subscription food boxes, to help spread awareness about farming amongst her peers.
Kendall’s journey to becoming a certified farmer didn’t happen overnight. First, she had to get a business entity at the state and federal levels. Then she joined various farming organizations associated with Georgia’s Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau. This made her eligible to be certified. She would do on to hame her business “aGROWKulture.”
The ambitious grower was to apply to grants and scholarships, as well as purchase land under her business, which she can legally do now that she is certified. She also hopes to raise $10,000 for an outdoor agricultural science lab to begin composting. Kendall’s mother told ABC News her daughter was, “the embodiment of young entrepreneurship and the future of Black farmers.”
Black farmers are few and far between. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of the farmers in the United States, less than 2% are black. Black people do however have a strong history in farming. In 1920 there were nearly a million black farmers in the United States; there are just 45,000 now. Black farmers endured decades of racial violence and unfair treatment from the banks that almost decimated the subculture. Black farmers also own a dismal 0.52% of America’s farmland.
But Kendall can help change that. She regularly attends farming conferences and Agriculture summits and is committed to making a difference in the field. Throughout it all, she is still a kid and says her main goal is to make new friends. But along the way she also hopes to inspire those friends to grow a passion for farming. Let’s give this young black queen her flowers now.