Hobart Ames started his Angus herd December 3, 1913 when he purchased 19 heifers at the Chicago International Livestock Exposition through Mr. Ken McGregor of Manitoba, Canada. Angus breeders in Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri bred those females. Angus cattle raised by Mr. Ames won blue ribbons in cattle shows all across the country. One of his bulls, Ames Plantation Beau, was the 1917 Grand Champion of the Chicago International Livestock Expedition. An oil painting of this magnificent bull now hangs in the Ames Manor House in Grand Junction, Tennessee. At present, the Ames Plantation Angus herd is one of the oldest continuous purebred herds in the South and according to the American Angus Association is the 4th oldest Angus herd in the United States.
Following Mrs. Ames death in January of 1950, the Angus herd, as a component of the Ames Plantation holdings, passed to the Trustees of the Hobart Ames Foundation. Ames cattle continued to compete in the show ring until the 1960’s. During the middle part of that decade, the emphasis began to shift from a show herd to a research program designed to assist area beef producers in making efficient use of their livestock resources and the land area and pastures they utilized.