Kendall Rae Johnson is Georgia’s youngest certified farmer. The seven-year-old is the owner of aGROWKulture Urban Farm in Atlanta where she sells food baskets from her own garden, hosts kids marketplace events, and inspires other young people.
The Voice of the Future
Her participation in the Phytobiomes Conference is a reminder to all scientists that they are currently working on developing the tools that she will be using twenty years from now. Questions such as “What does she need?” and “What is the science that we need to focus on?” have to be asked now so that in twenty years farmers like her all over the world, regardless of the size of their farm or the kind of crop they grow, have the tools they need to address the challenges they will be facing, whether it be food security, climate change or agricultural sustainability.
Kendall Rae is very enthusiastic about science and agriculture. She has been playing in the soil since she was three years old. Her love of farming comes from her great grandmother who would say: “Don’t throw my collard green stems away, put them back in the dirt.” When her parents built a garden bed on their property, Kendall Rae started planting her favorite seeds – cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and collard greens – and watched them grow. She then would invite her friends over to help harvest her garden, explaining what type of plants she had grown. Today, she services 26 monthly memberships for food baskets from her own garden.
Kendall Rae is currently building an outdoor kids agricultural science learning space. In the coming years, she wants to create an agriculture youth K-12 development program to help all, big or small, grow their own food and learn about food security and urban sustainability. She wants to create a Kids Marketplace where youth entrepreneurs meet the community and learn first-hand how to own and operate a business with help from their parents/guardians, neighborhood business owners, and community supporters.
Kendall Rae will participate in a conversation with Kellye Eversole (Phytobiomes Alliance) and LaKisha Odom (Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research – FFAR)