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Star Lineman Jason Brown Quits NFL And Starts A Farm To Feed The Hungry: “God Laid It On My Heart!”

Ready how one family was called to live a life of purpose — donating 1 million pounds of produce to stop food insecurity!

Jason Brown had it all: a beautiful wife, Tay, a growing family and fame as a star lineman for the NFL Baltimore Ravens. But when a call on his heart told him to leave his career behind to start a farm that gives to those in need, Jason knew he couldn’t ignore it… and it not only changed his life, but enriched the lives of millions of others!

Jason and Tay Brown with all their children
Even surrounded by so many blessings, NFL lineman Jason Brown was missing something until he decided to follow God’s call on his heart

Jason Brown gazed at his reflection in the mirror on his 27th birthday and sighed. I should be happy, he thought. After all, as one of the highest paid centers in the NFL, he and his wife, Tay, a successful dentist, were living the American dream.

The couple had purchased a mansion in St. Louis, and their family’s star was on the rise…except, to Jason, that rise felt more hollow with each passing day.

Jason and Tay Brown got married in 2003, and were living the dream until God's call changed their plans
Jason and Tay Brown got married in 2003, and were living the dream until God changed their plans

“What are you doing with your life that’s so great?” he asked aloud, staring at himself. Reflected back at him was the face of his older brother, Lundsford Bernard Brown II, who had died serving his country in Iraq in 2003.

At the time, Jason had been in the midst of his college football career and a few short years away from being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and starting his life as a successful NFL player.

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Jason Brown playing for the Baltimore Raven
Jason Brown was drafted into the NFL in 2005 and left football behind to pursue God’s plan for his family in 2012Getty/George Gojkovich

But “success,” in Jason’s mind, was the life his brother had led: one of service and purpose. Of meaning, Jason thought, a familiar call surging to the forefront of his heart.

For as long as Jason could remember, that call had been there: to become a farmer and to serve others. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, Jason thought. But I must chase this dream.

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NFL lineman Jason Brown’s call of the heart

Not sure how she would take it, Jason gently broke the news to Tay.

“I feel like God has laid it on my heart to go home to North Carolina and start a farm,” he explained.

“A farm?” Tay asked in surprise. “We don’t even know how to farm!”

But as Tay and Jason discussed the farm’s mission and their overarching goal to return to their roots, faith, family and service, she was on board. And within a few months, Jason had retired from the NFL and he and Tay began looking for land.

“God, whatever land you bless us with, we’re giving its first fruits to those who need it,” the pair resolved when suddenly, a 1,000-acre farm came up for sale in Franklin, North Carolina.

“It’s perfect!” Tay and Jason cried when they saw it. “We’ll call it First Fruits Farm!”

Jason and Tay with their children on the land God called him to purchase
Jason and Tay left everything behind to start a farm

Selling their house, the couple worked to get the farm back into shape while learning to grow sweet potatoes, cucumbers and corn to give to various food banks and interfaith pantries in the area.

But as their harvest grew, and they realized how fast their vegetables were being eaten, God placed another call on their hearts: to give away the entire yield of over 100,000 pounds of food to those who needed it most.

The barn and the land that Jason purchased
NFL lineman Jason Brown left the football league and his wife left a successful career as a dentist to become farmers in North Carolina

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The fruits of love

Since their first year in 2013, that number has grown exponentially, and this past year, the Browns celebrated their most significant milestone yet: donating over 1 million pounds of harvested food to fight food insecurity across North Carolina.

And their farm and their faith ministry, Wisdom for Life (, are not the only things that have grown: The Browns now have 10 children, all of whom love helping on the farm.

The Browns tilling the soil
The family of 12 tills the soil together

“It’s incredible being able to raise children on this farm,” shares Tay. “Even though we have livestock in the pastures and fruits and vegetables too, the most important thing growing here is love!”

The Brown children with Jason on the farm
They harvest corn, potatoes, cucumbers and berries

That love has touched the lives of many thus far, with messages pouring in from people across the country who, inspired by the Browns’ journey, have started their own gardens to feed their neighbors in need.

“When we realize that each one of us can do something to help and use our hands to work together, we can truly make a difference to so many!” Tay smiles.

Two of the Brown children with sweet potatoes
The family donates their yield to food banks across the state

Jason, who has also written a book about his family’s journey called Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters, couldn’t agree more.

“When Tay was a dentist and I was in the NFL, people would call us a ‘power couple,’ but working side by side on this farm is the true definition! We’ve discovered that you can find love, joy and peace right here at home. Our mantra is simple: Never stop giving, never stop loving, never stop growing. That is our mission—to sow seeds of love and be a blessing to others. To us, that’s what true success is!”

Jason with his crops
The retired NFL lineman, Jason Brown has a passion for serving others

For more comforting stories about God’s plan, keep reading…

This Special ‘Souper Bowl’ Has Raised $200 Million To Feed The Hungry And Lift Hearts!

Savannah Guthrie Shares Her Faith Journey: “God Doesn’t Cause Pain, He Carries Us Through It” (EXCLUSIVE)

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