Ames conducts agricultural research to benefit the University of Tennessee and provides a venue for the National Championship for field trailing bird dogs.
In 1987, the Ames History Project was begun to document the houses, grist mills, cemeteries, cotton gins, and roads that made this a thriving farming community before the Civil War brought an end to the plantation tradition in the south. This 18,430 acre site is the location of several 19th century cotton plantations and includes the Mount Comfort Store, Andrews Chapel Methodist Church, and the town site of Pattersonville.
The Plantation was developed by Hobart Ames, an industrialist. At his death in 1945, the Hobart Ames Foundation was established and the facilities of the Plantation were made available to the University of Tennessee College of Agriculture for a demonstration farm featuring forestry and farm management projects.