While farm machinery is still the big ticket attraction at Henty Machinery Field Days, the growth in food, wine, fashion, self-drive holidays, alternative farming and more has seen the three-day event now become a major Riverina produce showcase.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said a growth of visitors from inter-state augurs well for the region’s contribution to the national agricultural-based economy.
“One of the highlights for me has been the food and wine area,” Ms Ley said.
“Foodies had come from Melbourne to sample our produce.
“What a great opportunity for city and country to meet. You’ve got people who run restaurants and deal with food in the CBD of Melbourne coming here, and understanding how our food is produced.”
After a cold start on Tuesday, September 19, warmer weather and an enthusiasm to see the latest in agricultural innovation saw visitor numbers push new heights.
Traditionally the event attracts about 60,000 people across three days and early on day three HMFD chairman Ross Edwards was prepared to declare 2017 crowds a record, based on years of experience and anecdotal evidence.
“I have just stepped out of the chopper and there are cars backed up to Culcairn and Uranquinty,” he said Thursday morning.
Some exhibitors had to restock supplies early on Thursday morning in anticipation of the last day rush.
“This is testament to the weather,” Mr Edwards said. “I think it has been a great three days … the sunny weather certainly encourages people to come along.”
“They come here to meet friends, see relatives and meet representatives from the different ag companies too… it is a chance to have a day away from the farm and enjoy yourself.”