Jason Brown Dropped $37.5 Mil NFL Contract to Become a Farmer, Feed the Hungry

Jason Brown was the league’s highest-paid center, until he left professional sports to better serve his community

Ex-NFL center Jason Brown runs a farm called First Fruits Farm in North Carolina. 

At 29 years old, the St. Louis Rams’ Jason Brown has left his lucrative contract in its final year to become a farmer, reports CBS News.

In 2009, Brown signed a five-year contract for $37.5 million, making him the highest-paid center in the NFL. Then, with roughly $25 million earned, Brown decided to quit football — in order to farm 1,000 acres of land in Franklin County, North Carolina, even though he had no prior knowledge of farming whatsoever.

Brown told CBS News that he learned to farm by cultivating the advice of other local farmers, and by Googling the rest, essentially: “Get on the Internet. Watch YouTube videos.”

Brown plans to donate the first fruits of each harvest to food pantries in his home state of North Carolina, where First Fruits Farm is located. This year, Brown has harvested five acres of sweet potatoes, and will donate the lot —100,000 pounds — to local food pantries.

"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.'"

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.