St. Louis Ram Leaves NFL and $37 Million to Become Farmer and Feed the Hungry

St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown has left the NFL to pursue farming:


“My agent told me, ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,’” Brown told CBS. “And I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No I’m not. No I’m not.’”

Back in 2009, Brown signed a $37.5 million contract with the Rams, making him the highest paid center in all of football. He earned about $25 million of that contract and decided to leave the final year's $12.5 million on the table. Instead, he bought 1,000 acres of farmland in North Carolina.

Brown is doing this to help the less fortunate. He grows sweet potatoes and other vegetables and donates his harvest to food pantries. According to the New & Observer, he has given away 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and 10,000 pounds of cucumbers this fall.

Keep in mind the fact that Brown left the NFL at 29. He was going to get another pretty large contract to play for a few more years. Instead, in 2012 Brown began watching YouTube videos about farming in order to learn how to farm.

He calls his farm the "First Fruits Farm." And it's not only fruits and vegetables—congratulations are in order:

Jason Brown, the former NFL star who retired from football so he could grow crops to feed the hungry, delivered his own child Tuesday at his Louisburg home.

Brown and his wife, Tay, had planned to have help for the home birth, but the mother went through labor so quickly that Lunsford Bernard Brown III made his debut before the reinforcements could arrive.

Everything I've read about him so far is pretty great. So this Thanksgiving, raise a glass to Jason Brown and the many other kind souls who put people ahead of themselves.

Ed. note: Watch a segment on Brown here.

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