James E. Ward Agriculture Center

It wouldn’t have occurred to anyone that the purchase of the Baddour Estate 1974 (a 104-acre expanse of land) by the County Court would be the start of becoming one of the busiest and most famous recreational centers in Tennessee. The fact is, James E. Ward Agriculture Center is so popular that it has become the permanent home to loads of fun activities like the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo, the Wilson County Fair, and the annual Dancing Lights of Christmas. Aside from the mainstay events, the James E. Ward Agriculture Center is a regular host of consumer fairs, exhibitions, trade shows, and carnivals. Let’s not forget the center is also open to people looking for a camping site.

When the County Court met in March of 1974 a motion was made to purchase the 104-acre tract known as the Baddour Estate. This acquisition of property was the beginnings of the great James E. Ward Agricultural and Community Center. Additional land purchased over the years brings the total acreage to 267. The center is named for James E. Ward who came to Wilson County in 1936 as the Extension Agent, where he served the county until his retirement in 1972. His leadership and commitment to the people of Wilson County improved agriculture in this area greatly. This facility offers a unique opportunity for a wide variety of activities. From wedding receptions, family reunions, birthday parties, car shows, to camping, we have a place for your activity. Welcome to the James E. Ward Ag Center, our grounds are home to the nationally acclaimed Wilson Country Fair, the largest county fair in Tennessee. With seven uniquely appointed buildings that can accommodate crowd sizes ranging from 45 to 350, four existing stages, and multiple green spaces, our facilities can host multiple break-out sessions, competitions, and happenings as part of festivals, fairs, and other large events.

The Agricultural Complex includes covered arena with bleachers and stall barn, an open-air arena that can seat over 3,000 spectators, and large and small livestock barns. These amenities are perfectly suited for rodeos, livestock sales, and other, large-scale agricultural and outdoor events. Ward Agricultural Center’s camping facilities can accommodate over 1,000 RVs in 12 sections—including electrical hookups—plus primitive (tent) camping sites, 4 dump sites, 3 bathhouses, and multiple entrances to accommodate large events and crowds.

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