Georgia’s youngest certified farmer is only 6 years old
We don’t know who creates all these holidays, but we do know that today is National Farmers Day. Which is why you may have seen profiles of farmers new and old floating around agriculture media. Among these featured growers is 6-year-old Kendall Rae Johnson, the youngest certified farmer in Georgia and the youngest Black farmer in the state. Johnson began planting seeds in her family’s patio garden at age 3, and, a year later, was growing zucchinis, carrots, okra, and strawberries in her family’s sprawling backyard garden, reports USA TODAY. The young farmer and her family run a farm outside Atlanta called aGROWKulture, which sells monthly produce baskets and hosts kids’ gardening clubs. Getting certified as a farmer isn’t easy; it requires a lengthy application process that includes inspections of production and sales by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The farming prodigy has become an in-demand speaker at local agricultural events and summits, and the City of South Fulton recently recognized her work by declaring September 28 to be Kendall Rae Appreciation Day. Johnson is also a source of inspiration and hope for budding farmers of color across the country, where most food producers are still overwhelmingly older and white. Black farmers make up less than 2 percent of the country’s 3.4 million farmers, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, and face long-entrenched racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This surely won’t be the last you hear about Johnson, who, according to the aGROWKulture website, is about to co-launch a new gardening and cooking YouTube channel.