Updated: Dec 10, 2020

LEBANON, Tenn. – Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and Wilson County agreed upon a $225,000 naming rights sponsorship of the Wilson County Exposition Center. The name change is officially in place, effective Aug. 1, 2020.

The municipally-owned facility was renamed Farm Bureau Exposition Center after a nearly five-year search for sponsorship.

Farm Bureau will pay Wilson County $45,000 per year through 2024 for the naming rights of the facility.

The stellar reputation of James E. Ward Agricultural and Community Center, home of the Exposition Center, combined with Wilson County’s ongoing support of agriculture, education, and community involvement encouraged the partnership with the like-minded federation.

Farm Bureau’s visionWorking together to build strong agricultural communities,” is infused in the Exposition Center’s message and resonates with the values rooted in the community.

The federation is responsible for all signage, subject to Wilson County’s approval, which will coin the facility as Wilson County’s Voice of Agriculture.

The purchase of the 104-acre Baddour Estate in 1974 initiated the development of Wilson County’s agriculture center, named after James E. Ward, the county’s extension agent. Ward’s passion and community-oriented leadership enriched agriculture in this area.

The agriculture center and adjoined fairgrounds expanded again in 2016 after the Wilson County Commission voted in favor of building the state-of-the-art Exposition Center.

The 79,000-square-foot facilityis a landmark— on the same grounds as the nationally acclaimed Wilson County Fair, Tennessee’s largest county fair.

Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation is a voluntary organization and voice of agricultural producers at all levels that began in 1921.

  • Farm Bureau Expo

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto recently selected Gayle Hibbert as the new Marketing Director of the Wilson County Expo Center. The County received 23 applications. Upon review of the applications, a committee selected four applicants for interview the week of March 16. After completion of interviews, the committee recommended Gayle Hibbert be hired as the next Marketing Director of the Wilson County Expo Center.

Hibbert is graduate of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with a B.A. in communications. She has over 12 years of experience as both a Marketing and Event Director. A native of Washington state, Hibbert has resided in Lebanon, permanently, since 2017.

“Ms. Hibbert represented herself well during her interview and presented impeccable references. She is eager to begin her duties and I believe she will be an asset to Wilson County,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

“I’d like to say thank you to the committee for their hard work, especially under the circumstances we have faced the past few weeks. Also, thank you to those who applied and interviewed for the position. I feel that everyone worked well through the hurdles we were presented, and I appreciate everyone’s patience.”

“I am very grateful that my intentional search for a role to serve my Wilson County home led me to this opportunity as the Marketing Director for the Expo Center,” said Hibbert. “I look forward to working toward making a meaningful impact and contributing to the dynamic growth and development of the Expo Center and our community.”

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