Former NFL player and NC native now runs a farm in Louisburg

Local News

LOUISBURG, N.C. (WNCN) — Ten years ago, you could find Jason Brown on the football field. He was one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

Now you’ll find Brown on a farm.

“I’m farmer Brown, alright,” he said.

Brown said he left a $35 million contract with the St. Louis Rams for a bigger purpose.

“I was inspired by my older brother who was slain in service back in 2003 and I just wanted to move a little bit more towards service,” said Brown.

He said God called him to agriculture and he started First Fruits Farm back in his home state of North Carolina. It’s a place to grow food to give to people in need in the community.

“There’s a lot of food insecurity and food deserts all throughout our state,”  Brown said.

He said the first year was dedicated to getting the farm back into operation.

In 2014, they planted their first crop. Now, the 1,000 acres is home to sweet potatoes, sweet corn, blueberries and more. It all goes to under-served families and food banks.

They’re celebrating several milestones this year, including one just this weekend — they’ve now harvested and donated a million pounds of food to people in need.

On Sunday, First Fruits Farm had music, booths and bounce houses to celebrate the millions of meals that donated food helps create.

“It’s just a blessing to be around people who really do things for other people,” said volunteer Edward Mays.

Brown said some call him crazy or even stupid for leaving the NFL to farm.

“When you put it in perspective, this has so much more meaning,” said Brown.

He said their next five-year goal is to teach more youth about farming and the joys of giving back.

“Something we always say and it’s our mantra: Never stop giving, never stop loving, never stop growing,” said Brown.

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