An NFL player who has made $28 million spends 12 hours a day working on his family farm in the off-season

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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson signed a four-year, $39 million contract a year ago, but that doesn't keep him from returning to his family farm in tiny Riley, Kansas, every off-season and putting in a full day's work.

In an interview in the new issue of ESPN the Magazine, Nelson said he would work up to 12 hours a day on the farm, driving a combine to cut wheat or rounding up the 1,000-cow herd in the town whose population is 992.

See photos of Nelson throughout his career:

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An NFL player who has made $28 million spends 12 hours a day working on his family farm in the off-season
Green Bay Packer's wide receiver Jordy Nelson catches a pass during mini-camp Tuesday June 17, 2008 at the Don Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wis.(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) rides to football training camp Monday, July 28, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gives a thumbs-up to wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) after Nelson caught a 10-yard touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson talks with the media, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in Irving, Texas. Green Bay will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) celebrates his touchdown reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of the NFL football Super Bowl XLV game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback honors Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson, second from right, as Nelson's family watches, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Brownback proclaimed it "Jordy Nelson Day" in Kansas. Nelson, a Leonardville, Kan., native, caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' recent Super Bowl victory. (AP Photo/John Milburn)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, left, shares a laugh with Jordy Nelson during the first half of an NFL football preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans in the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson, left, and Ty Montgomery talk during NFL football training camp, Saturday, Aug. 1 , 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson speaks with the media during an NFL news conference Wednesday Jan. 14, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers will play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in an NFL football NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson catches a 66-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during a NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts with Jordy Nelson #87 after they connected for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Wide receiver Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field following the NFL game against the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 21: Wide receiver Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers makes a nine yard pass reception as cornerback Cortland Finnegan #31 of the St. Louis Rams is penalized for unnecessary roughness on the tackle in the fourth quarter at Edward Jones Dome on October 21, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. The Packers defeated the Rams 30-20. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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"Working cattle is my favorite farm duty," Nelson told ESPN. He said he identifies "more as a farmer" than as a football player.

Nelson went on to say that in Riley he is "just the farm kid they have always known."

After starring as a quarterback at Riley High School, Nelson walked on at nearby Kansas State, where he ultimately moved to wide receiver.

Since being drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, Nelson has caught 49 touchdown passes and was a Pro Bowler in 2014.

In an interview with The 700 Club this year, Nelson explained how life on the farm prepared him for the NFL.


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