Press Releases


CONTACT: Sara Perry




Aug. 5, 2020


Wilson County Exposition Center welcomes Farm Bureau naming rights purchase


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 vision “Working 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 facility is 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 Exposition Center, previously known as Wilson County Exposition Center, accommodates events of any size with 45,000 square feet of exhibit space, a versatile 7,000-square-foot carpeted meeting space, state-of-the-art technology and convenient amenities. 

The facility is a public resource and economic player strongly rooted in Tennessee’s agriculture, education, and community involvement.

CONTACT: Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor

Office of the County Mayor 

Room 104, Courthouse 

228 East Main Street 

Lebanon, TN 37087 


July 17, 2020


Wilson County, TN – On July 3rd, Governor Lee signed Executive Order 54 granting county mayors in 89 Tennessee counties the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. After careful consideration, I am issuing a county­wide Executive Order requiring the wearing of face masks, if you can, outside the exclusions listed in the executive order, in public places, wherever you can, that you cannot property maintain 6 feet of social distance. It is imperative that all Wilson County citizens work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

This decision has not been made in haste nor was it a decision to be made by the Wilson County Commission. The authority has been given solely to county mayors by Governor Lee. On June 

24th, we issued an order strongly encouraging the wearing of face masks in public. This was a response to Wilson County being named a "hotspot" by Dr. Piercey during Governor Lee's press conference on June 23rd• Our numbers have continued to climb since this date. Certainly, an influx in testing does contribute to an increase positive cases; however, it's important to look at all the data: 

•    June 7th to July 7th (a period of one month) the total number of cases more than doubled from 475 to 999. Also, on June 7th, the 14-day average number of cases was 8.6 per day. Today, the 14-day average is 39.5 per day.

•    June 15th to July 7th, the average number of people testing positive increased from 5.7%to 7.2%. Today, 8.1% of people tested are positive.

•    July 13th, Wilson County saw its highest increase in cases (74). We hit this number again just three days later, July 16th. 

On July 8th we held a press conference. I was joined by local healthcare professionals, 

city/county leaders, school superintendents, law enforcement, EMS, local fire departments and chamber presidents (COVID Taskforce members). Each entity presented strong cases about the importance of wearing masks in public. 

Wilson County has provided information to the public for residents to make good choices regarding protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. We have made public statements through social media and with Public Service Announcements on Wilson County Television. Other government entities have made similar posts strongly encouraging people to wear masks when in public and when near other people. Many local businesses have joined the Blue-Ribbon initiative to show their commitment to the TN Pledge. These efforts have not been in vain, but it is now clear that wearing masks in public places (with some exclusions in the Executive Order) must become mandatory. 

As we navigate this pandemic, we realize that questions are inevitable. Often, we have a "knee jerk" reaction to a situation before digesting all the information. I would urge you to read the attached executive order in its entirety. The answers to many questions may lie within. The full executive order will be available on our website at

Many have asked how a mandate will affect the school system. Per Governor Lee's Order, unless extended, my authority to mandate wearing masks expires on August 3rd therefore having no effect on any decision made by the school board. 

Everyone in Wilson County has a duty to be responsible and do their part to slow the spread of this virus. Healthcare professionals nation-wide have recommended that wearing a face mask, along with other recommended guidelines, is the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. If community action is not taken, the spread will continue to intensify thus affecting our daily activities. This action is necessary to ensure not only everyone's safety but also that local businesses can remain open and schools can re-open this fall. Allowing this spread to continue puts our health, economy and way of life at risk. During the aftermath of the March 3rd tornado, Wilson County exhibited the true spirit of "helping your neighbor." Now, we find ourselves faced with a new challenge, but it can be overcome. Help your neighbor once more by wearing a face mask. This Executive Order will remain in effect until 12:00 a.m., Central Daylight Time, on August 3, 2020. This Order shall be effective at 11:59 P.M., July 19, 2020 and shall be reissued in accordance and in conjunction with executive orders from Governor Lee regarding the wearing of face masks. 



Randall Hutto 

Wilson County Mayor 


Nov. 3, 2016

Wilson County, TN – Wilson County is ready to open the doors of its newest venture to the public. The Wilson County Exposition Center will host a Community Open House Monday, November 14, 2016 from 5-7PM with an address from Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and ribbon cutting to kick off the event beginning at 4:30PM. The event will feature caters, vendors and entertainment from all over the county and surrounding the areas. Featured vendors include the following:

Two Fat Men
Circle S Catering
Chef’s Market
Smith’s Catering
Jordan’s Catering
Blue Moon BBQ
WIldberry Catering Sammy B’s
Jersey Mike’s
Moe’s Southwestern Grille

Tiny House Road Show
Christmas Expo
Heart of TN Antique Show
Vintage Market Days
Southern Smoke BBQ Championship

Tri-Star Kennel Club Dog Show

Women of Hope Conference


Marco’s Pizza
Chop House on the Green

And much more!

Wilson County broke ground on the highly profiled exhibit center in October 2015. The Expo Center is expected to be crown jewel of the already critically acclaimed James E. Ward Ag Center. 


“The Exposition Center has endless possibilities; be it weddings, conferences, boat shows, sporting events, we offer something for everyone. So much hard work went into the planning and preparation of the Exposition Center, it’s wonderful to see the finished product. We are very excited to continue moving forward.”- Marketing Director, Charity Toombs. 


“We are thrilled that the Expo Center is ready to open to the public. Our Marketing Director, Charity Toombs has done an outstanding job of booking some great events, several of which will be new to the county. We look forward to the new opportunities that can be brought to the county because of this venture. I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of this project for all of their hard work, from the contractors and staff to the Commissioners for having the foresight to see this project through. We are ready and excited to start this new journey.”-Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto