Jason Brown, Keynote Speaker
A native of Henderson, North Carolina, Jason Brown is a community advocate, a former professional athlete, and a man of faith. Brown studied interpersonal communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while on an athletic scholarship. He reflects that his greatest accomplishment at Carolina was meeting the love of his life and wife, Dr. Tay Brown.
After he graduated in 2005, he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
As a free agent in 2009, Brown signed a five-year contract with the St. Louis Rams, served three, and was released in March 2012. With several lucrative offers on the table from the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers, he decided instead to take a leap of faith and walk away from the NFL.
After his departure from the NFL, Brown moved back to North Carolina and purchased a 1,000-acre farm in Louisburg, founding First Fruits Farm. In 2014 the farm hosted its first annual youth fishing derby, hosted graduated students from NC State University, and collaborated with many faith and service organizations.
To date, Brown’s farm has yielded more than 200,000 pounds of produce, which has been given to food pantries and churches throughout the surrounding region. Thousands of volunteers have lent helping hands in the farm’s gleaning and harvest events.
In his work through Wisdom for Life Ministries and First Fruits Farm, Mr. Brown and his wife Tay are demonstrating how to live a life of purpose and how to promote community development through agriculture.
In the News
CBS Evening News
- CBS News: Why a star football player traded NFL career for a tractor
- Christian Science Monitor: Ten celebrities advocating for a more sustainable food system
- INSIDER: Ex-NFL player who made $25 million quit football at age 29 to become a farmer
- NBC Nightly News: This NFL Star Traded Football Field for Farm Field