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9-year-old Indiana farmer is a viral TikTok sensation 
 
By William Flood
Ohio correspondent

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. — If you think TikTok has little in common with the farm community, think again. Meet Jackson, a viral video sensation from Columbia City Indiana. His farm-themed videos often capture millions of eyeballs — not to mention the attention of multiple ag companies — and he’s just nine years old!
Consider his numbers - Jackson (his last name is not public because of his age) has more TikTok followers than most farm communities have people. At last count, it was nearly 92,000. His most popular video, featuring him discussing a 1975 Chevrolet K-30, which happens to be his favorite truck, has racked up 7.8 million views. The video with him showing off his personal John Deere 112 lawn tractor has landed 5.5 million. 
Jackson debuted in a post on his cousin Becca’s TikTok account, known as JustBeckyThings. Becca is a popular TikTok creator herself, with nearly 100,000 followers and 2 million likes. On Thanksgiving of 2023, Becca posted a brief clip of Jackson, just for fun. It caught fire almost immediately, and by the end of the day had reached over 5,000 likes. After posting a half-dozen additional Jackson-themed videos that hit tens-of-thousands of views, they decided it was time for Jackson to have his own TikTok account. JustaJacksonThing was born.
Since getting his account, Jackson has posted 94 videos. Many feature him engaging with and describing popular machinery. He holds particular fondness for his grandfather’s equipment, which is reflected in several videos. One captures him chatting about repairing the family John Deere 70 diesel. Another shows him sharing the driving in his grandpa’s Deere 4650 pulling a grain cart. Yet another captures his version of playing in the sandbox - running solo in a CAT mini excavator. 
While Jackson can spout details on everything from Ford trucks to Kubota tractors, he’s partial to John Deere. “I’m a Deere guy, never doubt that,” he said in an interview on the popular Farm4Profit Podcast. If you want to see those loyalties in action, take a moment to view the video on that 1970 Deere lawn tractor.
When not covering machinery, his videos often profile his toy farm display, set up in his family’s equipment shed. Videos chronicled that from when Jackson designed and helped build it through its lifelike completion. Other clips show normal rural life, like breakfast at the local diner and shopping at Tractor Supply. 
This fledgling farmer also enjoys attending auctions. Back in mid-January, he attended a Flesher Brothers equipment auction, where he watched real equipment sold off and went home with a box full of toy farm machinery he won. He’s even been known to stage an auction on that toy farm of his.
He may be a TikTok phenomenon, but this is one grounded kid, undoubtedly a testament to his rural roots. The home-schooled student was able to skip second grade and he’s testing above grade level on many subjects. He is well-spoken, quick-witted, and can rattle off information about farm equipment better than most adults. People fondly claim him an “old soul.” Jackson would probably agree - in one video he claims, “I was born with a hat on. I was born with my boots on ready to go!”
Sensing there was more to this young fellow than his command of farm machinery or his miniature farm setup, the Farm4Profit hosts dug into topics like whether Jackson had plans to join the 4-H or FFA and what some of his other interests were. “I love history,” Jackson said, adding, “My favorite time in history is the Civil War.”
Recognizing a promotional opportunity, several ag-related companies have been quick to forward branded gifts. Over a dozen firms, including Ellis Cattle Company, New Holland, and Tractor Supply, have delivered hats. Agro sent a gift basket. American Farm Gaming supplied promotional copies of several games. Jackson has also received plenty of farm toys for his display; those have come from manufacturers as well as from fans. One Florida viewer sent a Walthers HO-scale grain drier. Another fan gave a Lego John Deere harvester. As his mother handed over those gifts, Jackson appeared very much a grateful nine-year-old.
People like his adult cousin Brad, himself a farmer, have seriously suggested that a company like ERTL should sponsor his content. Perhaps some of that thinking stuck - JustaJacksonThing now has a line of tractor-inspired t-shirts on the Bonfire platform. They feature a vintage John Deere tractor and the slogan, “JD, that’s all she wrote.” There’s also an Amazon affiliate page stocked with children’s-size western wear and toy farm accessories. For anyone simply wishing to donate some cash to help support this ambitious young farmer, there’s also a Venmo account.
To find Jackson online, search for “JustaJacksonThing” for the TikTok videos and content on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

2/13/2024