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.