At one point, former St. Louis Rams Jason Brown, one of the best centers in the NFL during his tenure with the franchise, had a $37 million contract going with the team. To many, it seemed like he had it all.
But “all” turned meaningless to Brown and he walked away from it to become a farmer. That’s right—a farmer. Even though, he’d never farmed before and knew nothing about it.
“My agent told me, ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,'” said Brown. But “it was time to start giving back. God has blessed us with this place and I am to be a steward, to use all these good things to help other people.”
Former NC State wide receiver Torry Holt, who played with Brown with the Rams, said, “I remember Jason always being very strong in his faith. He was never down and out and was very encouraging to everyone. I think his faith had a lot to do with that because he was definitely a Believer.”
Subsequently, Brown bought 1,000 acres and named it “First Fruits Farm” with a plan to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. He then threw himself into his calling by teaching himself on the internet, watching YouTube videos, and getting good advice from other farmers in his area.
CBS News reported that Jason had recently finished with his first harvest, a five-acre plot of sweet potatoes and the experience has left him feeling more successful than he ever has in his life. “Not in man’s standards,” noted Brown. “But in God’s eyes.”
“When you see them [sweet potatoes] pop up out of the ground, man, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever see.”
Said Rebecca Page, who organizes food collections for the needy, “It’s unusual for a grower to grow a crop just to give away. And that’s what Jason has done. And he’s planning to do more next year.”
As for his mission to give liberally to the needy, Brown said, “When I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service. Love is the most wonderful currency that you can give anyone.”