Keynote Speaker – Grand Parade Marshal

The 85th North Carolina Strawberry Festival will honor Jason Brown as the Grand Parade Marshal and the keynote speaker at the luncheon for this year’s festival.

A native of Henderson, NC, 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. 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, Jason 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, Jason decided instead to take a leap of faith and walk away from the NFL.
After his departure from the NFL, Jason moved back to North Carolina and
purchased a 1,000-acre farm in Louisburg. 2014 turned out to be a
breakthrough year for First Fruits Farm. The farm hosted the first annual
youth fishing derby, hosted graduated students from NC State University, and
collaborated with many faith and service organizations. The Brown’s farm has yielded more than 200,000 lbs of produce which were given to food pantries
and churches throughout the Triangle area. Thousands of volunteers have lent
helping hands in gleaning and harvest events. In his work through Wisdom
for Life Ministries and the First Fruit Farms, Jason and his wife Tay, are
demonstrating how to live a life of purpose. Jason serves as a great example of
community development through agriculture.

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