Jason Brown (pictured) had a stellar career with the St. Louis Rams. He signed a five-year contract with the team for a reported $37.5 million that included a $20 million guarantee, making him the highest paid center in the NFL. He started every game in 2009, 2010 and 14 in 2011. In March 2012, he was released from his contract but was pursued by three of the league’s top teams from San Francisco, Carolina and Baltimore. Brown had other plans though, instead of tackling a gridiron player for a pigskin, he wanted to tackle farming, so that he can feed those folks who are hungry in his state of Missouri according to The Boston Globe.
Brown, who knew zilch about farming, purchased 1,000 acres of farmland in Louisburg, North Carolina. The then-28-year-old, 6’3”, 320-pounder educated himself with regards to his newfound career choice by watching YouTube makeshift tutorials and interviewing local farmers.
It did not matter that Brown had a few good playing years left in him. It did not matter that his manager tried drilling into him that he was making a huge mistake by walking away from a lucrative playing career. Brown had made up his mind that helping the less fortunate was just more important than football and that serving God and having a “life of greatness and a life of service” was a paramount calling.
“Love is the most wonderful currency that you can give anyone,” Brown told CBS.
On his farm, Brown grows vegetables and donates the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. According to CBS News, Brown gave away 100,000 pounds of sweet potatoes `this fall. Brown appears to get more of a thrill out of seeing his crops sprout, more so than tackling an opponent, telling the Business Insider, “When you see them pop up out of the ground, man it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever see,” he said of harvesting the sweet potatoes according to CBS.
Meanwhile according to Rebecca Page, who organizes food collection for the needy, and who spoke to CBS, “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.”