Josh Allen was born on May 21, 1996, to Joel and LaVonne Allen. He grew up one of four children on the family farm in small-town Firebaugh, California. The Buffalo Bills quarterback’s father is a farmer while his mother ran a restaurant in town for several years.
Here’s what you need to know about Josh Allen’s parents:
1. Josh Allen’s Father Is Joel Allen, Who Is a Third-Generation Farmer in Firebaugh, California
Josh Allen was born and raised in Firebaugh, California, a small town 45 minutes from Fresno. His parents, Joel and LaVonne Allen, raised the future NFL star and his three siblings on their family’s farm. Allen’s paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Sweden to the U.S. in 1924, when he was 16, at which point he changed the family name from Erlandson to Allen, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He met Allen’s great-grandmother in a strawberry patch in Arkansas, the publication wrote, and the couple made their way to Firebaugh, California, where two of their sons started Allen Brothers Farming. One of them, Alfred, known as “Buzz,” is the Bills quarterback’s grandfather. He was a pillar of the community and along with his brother donated land to build the town’s school, which named its gym the Buzz Allen Gym, SF Gate wrote.
Now, Joel Allen and his twin brother Todd both farm on their family’s land, and Allen also worked on the farm when he was growing up. The Denver Post reported that Allen’s father started his work day at 6 a.m. and was often not back home until around 8 p.m.
“It instilled a work ethic,” Allen told ESPN. “Seeing my dad wake up super early when the sun wasn’t even out and then coming home when the sun was set, he worked his tail off to provide for our family and did a great job. He’s the most selfless man I know, and I think if I’m half the man he is, I’ll be all right in this world.”
The family farm consists mostly of row crops of cotton, cantaloupes and small grains, Joel Allen told the Denver Post. He said his son was always really helpful around the farm, driving the tractor, helping install irrigation or sprinklers, and was “not afraid of hard work.” He’s a third-generation farmer and said Allen would be the fourth generation, but told ESPN, “I don’t think he’s coming back to the farm.”
“I would love for my sons to get into this business,” Joel Allen told the Buffalo News, “but the stress is agonizing. I frowned on my boys getting into this because I don’t want them enduring sleepless nights and constant worry.”
In 2017, Joel Allen shared that his schedule became a bit more challenging with his son’s career. “We made it work last year,” he told the Casper Star-Tribune. “I didn’t miss one game. It was a (challenge), but totally worth it. I think there would be a lot of dads that would kill to be in my position.”
2. Josh Allen’s Mother, LaVonne Allen, Ran a Restaurant for Several Years Once Her Children Were a Bit Older
While Joel Allen worked on the family farm, his wife LaVonne Allen became the owner of a restaurant in town, The Farmer’s Daughter. LaVonne Allen, whose parents were also farmers, shared that she had been sure when she left the family home for college that she was done with agriculture.
“One of the last things I said to my father when I went off to college,” she told the Buffalo News, “was I won’t be living in Dos Palos or Firebaugh, and I wouldn’t be marrying a farmer… That kind of bit me on the butt.” She met Joel Allen at Cal Poly, where she studied fashion design and merchandising and was a member of the dance team.
Once the couple’s four children had reached high school age, LaVonne Allen took over a restaurant in town that she named The Farmer’s Daughter. “My kids were in high school right around the corner,” she explained to the Casper Star-Tribune. “My baby girl was right behind me at her school. My older daughter was doing her thing in Long Beach. So it was a great time for me to have the restaurant. It kept me busy. My boys always knew where I was.”
Allen and his brother Jason would go to the restaurant for their lunch breaks in high school and often helped their mother with the dishes. “They always knew where I was, so it was just a perfect time to have it,” she shared. However, it eventually got to be too much as Allen’s football career and associated travel was quite time-consuming and she sold it after six years, the Chicago Tribune wrote.
“I was constantly on my phone because there’s ordering of the supplies and a lot of stuff that has to go on, that has to be taken care of, whether you’re there or not,” she said. “And for 13 weeks we traveled. Come Christmas time, I was an exhausted mess.” Allen praised his mother’s influence and support of the family, telling ESPN, “She’s the rock of our family.”
3. Josh Allen Grew Up With 3 Siblings & They Often Played Sports at Their House, Which Had a Basketball Court & Batting Cage
The Allen family grew up surrounded by sports and Joel and LaVonne Allen prioritized athletics for their children so they’d always be kept busy.
“We kind of created our house out here in the country, kind of the kids’ paradise,” LaVonne Allen told the Casper Star-Tribune. “We have a lot of different things for them to do. We have a basketball court. We have … a sand beach volleyball (court). They have a batting cage. We have a little putting green for the kids. So it was kind of a destination where we wanted all these kids to be at our house.”
She said if their children and their friends were playing at their house, it would be easier to keep an eye on them and what they were up to. “But pretty much everyone around here, they’re great kids, great families, and it was just really fun for the kids to grow up,” she added. “They had each other. They had each other’s backs.”
Beyond the emphasis on sports, Allen said he really looked up to his father and his work ethic and described him as “the greatest role model in the world” in a Democrat and Chronicle interview. “The things he did for our family to keep food on the table, he’s a smart businessman and a hard worker. It’s something that I look up to, how hard he works to support our family.”
He said that seeing his father work in farming, which meant no days off and having to work long days from before sunrise to after sunset regardless of the soaring temperatures, was inspirational and a big reason he became successful in his own career.
4. Josh Allen’s Parents Are Very Supportive of the Bills Star & Will Often Travel to See All of His Games
Allen’s parents have been supportive of his football career from the early days, which was represented by a toast his father made in front of friends and family just before he declared for the NFL. “To Josh’s future,” Joel Allen said, according to Bleacher Report. “No matter what he does and where he goes, we’re going to support him 100 percent.”
Allen recalled his father giving him mock interviews in the car on the way to school, explaining that his father would take his cell phone and ask his son questions about his games. “Being here was not a mistake. It was not by chance,” the Bills star shared with WHAM. “It was manufactured.”
He told the publication in 2020 that he bought his father a truck since his old one had 140,000 miles on it. The quarterback said he told his father that he’d made it to the NFL thanks to both his parents. “I just wanna show you how much I appreciate you and what you’ve done for me over the course of my life,” he said he told them. “I know it can’t be repaid but I just wanted to show him that I loved him.”
Despite the distance between the family’s home in California and Buffalo, Allen’s parents usually fly all over the country and rarely miss their son’s games, the Los Angeles Times reported.
5. Josh Allen Is 1 of 4 Children Born to Joel & LaVonne Allen & He Is Very Close With His Siblings
Allen is one of four children born to Joel and LaVonne Allen. He has an older sister named Nicala, a younger brother named Jason and a younger sister, Makenna. The Bills quarterback is very close with all of his siblings.
Makenna Allen is a three-sport athlete, Allen revealed to the Casper Star-Tribune, when he shared that he wanted to watch some of her games. “Basketball is her main sport,” he shared. “She plays volleyball, basketball and softball, so she’s a three-sport athlete as well. She definitely has some good genes.”
His younger brother Jason Allen played college baseball but the two competed in all sorts of sports together growing up. “They pushed each other on the basketball court, they pushed each other on the baseball field,” LaVonne Allen told the publication. There was only a 13-month age difference between them and she said they were like twins growing up. “When I say push each other, they were competitive, but they were very supportive,” she added. “To this day, Jason is the first one to call me, ‘Mom, did you read this about Josh? Mom, did you see this?’”
Allen agreed that growing up with his athletic siblings created a competitive environment that pushed him to improve. “(Jason) is my best friend,” he shared. “I talk to him all the time. I’m excited for what his future holds in baseball, but growing up with someone so close in age, and such a good athlete as he was, it was definitely a blessing.”
Allen’s older sister Nicala is now Nicala Madden, having married Brayden Madden in July 2021. The couple welcomed their first child, a son on March 24, 2023. She is a realtor working with Realty Concepts in Fresno. Makenna Allen obtained her bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and management at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2022. Jason Allen is married to Delani Allen.