US (GA): Q&A with Nakita Hemingway, cut flower farmer and politician

The first African American woman to run for the post of Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, Nakita Hemingway, hadn’t planned on becoming a politician. A graduate of Georgia State University, she majored in real estate and later received a degree in finance from the American Intercontinental University. A concerning encounter in 2018 with a local government official prompted Hemingway to reconsider her career path. 

At the time, Hemingway had applied for a special-use land permit to open a cut flower farm and bed-and-breakfast. While the law supported what Hemingway wanted to accomplish, she says the county commissioner imposed restrictions greater than required by the law.

“While going through the process, I noticed a disturbing pattern of favoritism to local developers and large businesses over regular, everyday citizens,” Hemingway says. “A county commissioner stood on my cut flower farm and told me I would be better off selling my farmland to QuikTrip than getting him to remove the unwarranted and unjust land restrictions against the use of our farmland. When I decided to run for office, it was due to my understanding of just how broken leadership is in Georgia and the lack of small farmers having a real advocate and voice in our state.”  

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