Eight-year-old boy turns love of tractors into TikTok gold

A mother turned her 8-year-old son’s passion for tractors and farming into an infectious TikTok hit.

With over 400,000 followers on TikTok, the Just a Jackson Thing (@justajacksonthing) account has taken off in ways Jessica – mother to tractor-obsessed 8-year-old Jackson – could have never predicted in her wildest dreams.

Initially, she began to post videos of her son sharing his love of all things farming, including his in-depth knowledge of tractors and mowers, just as a fun thing they did together. But over time, thousands began to flock to the account to watch little Jackson tinkering with his family’s collection of John Deere tractors in their workshop on their large property near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Jackson’s videos typically include him giving tutorials on the equipment, working in his family’s fields, checking out new John Deere tractors, or having a good time at the Fort Wayne Farm Show – Indiana's largest indoor agricultural expo.

Farming, I would say is in my blood, I would say it’s there, I would definitely say it is,” Jackson explained to a local news outlet, noting that he comes from a long line of farmers. “It’s fun to tear something apart, fix it, and then put it back together.”

He added, “You get to figure out new stuff, you get to learn new stuff, you get to figure out new tractors and stuff and then you keep that knowledge and when you go buy other stuff, bigger equipment, maybe it has the same motor or something, you know that stuff.”

The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Jackson’s videos has left his mother in awe.

“We’ve been along with the Jackson ride for quite a while, now it’s just gone viral,” Jessica said. “Every stage is amazing with him and just being able to see how he’s grown and learned, I just love the passion he has for farming and tractors.”

Jessica and her husband grew up on a pig and dairy farm, respectively, and passed their love for agriculture to their son, who is excited to carry on the family legacy.

“We know that growing up on a farm teaches you really good work value and an appreciation of the work that goes into the food that we eat,” she explained. “So it’s just a really good way to grow up – we appreciated how we grew up – it’s hard work, it’s stressful at times, but there’s also a lot of good that comes from farming that we know, so we try to encourage that passion wherever we can and get him involved.”

When Jackson isn’t working on tractors or tending to their fields, he’s being homeschooled by his mother, taking to subjects like history. She said she tries to incorporate what he’s learning on their family farm into his daily lessons to make the material more relatable to his day-to-day experiences. Jackson has also been toiling away at a 6×12 foot miniature farm display, which he has chronicled on TikTok.