A 6-year old Georgia girl is gaining national recognition for a hometown feat.
Kendall Rae Johnson, of the City of South Fulton in metropolitan Atlanta, became the state’s youngest certified farmer on Sept. 28.
The pint-sized horticulture maven began her green thumb journey at the age of three while helping her late great-grandmother Laura “Kate” Williams tend to her own patio garden.
By the age of four, Kendall’s parents had taken notice of their daughter’s burgeoning green thumb and made room for her interests to take root at home.
“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. And then we moved, and now she has a farm,” Kendall’s mother, Ursula Johnson, told “Good Morning America.”
Some of her crops include strawberries, zucchini, okra and squash. And as each crop blooms, Kendall makes sure to invite neighborhood children to help her harvest, all the while also sparking green thumbs among her friends.
But Kendall’s love for gardening isn’t just a hobby. The young trailblazer is a licensed business owner, at the state and federal levels, of aGROWKulture. She is also a member or multiple farming organizations such as the Georgia Farming Bureau.
Locally, the metro Atlanta business owner has became a staple on the garden scene, even attracting speaking engagements promoting childhood farming, and helping Georgia state Rep. Mandisha Thomas to raise $85,000 to support young farmers programs.
“Agriculture, by far, remains the state’s largest industry. Still, it remains an industry with few women,” said South Fulton Mayor William “Bill” Edwards during a special ceremony honoring Kendall.
“With her enthusiasm, determination and love for gardening, Kendall is about to change that. We are proud of such an accomplished young lady at such a young age.”
The farming industry is made up of less than two percent of Black farmers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even fewer are Black females.
“When you go to these [Georgia Agriculture] 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.”
Online, enthusiasm over Kendall’s accomplishments has come from people near and far. “I really enjoyed this story. Something happy and to put a smile on a persons face for once. Kudos to this little girl.”
Kendall is currently raising $10,000 to fund an agricultural science lab and ensure she can fulfill her harvest basket memberships during the winter.
“I love them supporting her and letting her just be Kendall.”