The tractors were big and so were the numbers.
Day one of the biennial Southfuels Farmarama was held at the Lawrence Gymkhana Grounds yesterday. The event continues today.
Convener David Robertson said there was a "huge amount" on display.
"We are up 25 per cent on exhibitors.
"Farmers come and have a day out, they kick some tyres and have a yarn."
There was everything from a full range of tractors and heavy machinery to seaweed products and water pumped using solar power.
"All the top car companies are here, and four-wheelers and motorbikes.
"Our history shows we're professional enough to run a good show."
While day two was traditionally the big day, yesterday had attracted a good crowd, he said.
"This is a good crowd for a Thursday," Mr Robertson said.
"I'd like to see a couple of thousand through, maybe more."
Many were coming out of Christchurch and Invercargill to exhibit, and some from the North Island.
"It's getting to a stage, it isn't a local event, it's an event that can't afford to be missed."
The number of sheep exhibitors had increased this year and sheep breeders were facing more competition, he said.
"A lot of those ram breeders are losing out to the black and whites [dairy cows]," and there were fewer and fewer sheep in New Zealand.
"Those ram breeders are so passionate about what they do, they want to get their genetics out there in front of people."
Shows like the Farmarama were another form of media, or "open air media", for the breeders, he said.
Aurora Romney Studs' representative, who coincidentally is also David Robertson, was attending the Farmarama for the second time from Palmerston. The show was advertising for the stud, he said.
"It is getting your name out there.
"If you don't put yourself out in the public arena nobody knows about you."
He had a good response two years ago, which was why he returned this year, he said. Money taken at the gate will go towards the Tuapeka Aquatic Centre, and the money from the exhibitors will go towards other Lawrence projects.
- The Southland Times