Football player drops $37 mil contract to become a farmer

St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown gave up a $37 million contract to launch a dream of growing real food for North Carolina locals.

Brown, who grew up in an urban setting and knew nothing about farming, secured a former dairy farm of over 1,000 acres and got busy preparing his operation centered around crops like cucumbers and sweet potatoes.


His goal was to help struggling families in his area with his good-sized but sustainable farm.

With the generous practical advice and aid of a neighboring farmer (who no doubt was delighted to help someone with the willingness and finances to acquire what was needed), Brown quickly planted his first crop on five acres, which produced 100,000 pounds of sweet potatoes.

“When you see them pop up out of the ground, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever see,” Brown said.

He gave them all away.

Brown’s next small success was the production of 10,000 pounds of cucumbers, which he also gave away. By this time he had attracted the attention of the non-profit group, the Society of St. Andrews, which has a long history of feeding the poor and homeless.

Typically, St. Andrews volunteers go into fields after harvest and glean the missed crops for food banks and other organizations, but at least for now at his small scale beginning, Brown intends to give everything away.

Brown said he has a lot to learn yet, but he plans to double his next crop and now he has over 200 volunteers from St. Andrews and other organizations to make sure every sweet potato finds a home. (Sweet potatoes, by the way, are a great and nutritious food.)

Cucumbers, while not packing the exceptional nutritional punch staple sweet potatoes, are a fine blood purifier and antioxidant.

No word yet on what other crops Brown plans to grow, but if he continues to follow his dream, it’s sure to come to him.

It’s nice to hear a different kind of story about an NFL player who has a dream far removed from the drug and domestic abuse scandals of many of his peers.


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