VISITORS from across Victoria and Australia will descend on Longerenong for the start of the Wimmera Machinery Field Days today.
The three-day annual event will feature about 700 exhibitors across more than 1000 sites, ranging from agricultural businesses to food and wine, crafts, camping, boating and lifestyle exhibitors.
This year's 51st event will also feature a range of demonstrations and shows, such as cooking sessions with celebrity chef Janelle Bloom in the field days auditorium and weather presentations from WIN television presenter Jane Bunn.
The field days will run until Thursday and gates are open from 8.30am to 5pm each day.
The event costs $18 for adults and, and $5 for secondary students or people under 18.
Field days manager Murray Wilson said the committee always aimed to make each year bigger and better than the one before.
He said this year's event would be close to breaking the record for the number of exhibitors.
"We had to extend our agribusiness pavilion, which was a direct result of an overflow of companies," he said.
"The pavilion has only been up for three years and every year we have had to extend it.
"Demand for sites has been just as good as last year.''
The field days will feature about 130 new exhibitors.
Mr Wilson said the number of new exhibitors was fantastic.
"It shows the strength of the field days and agriculture in the Wimmera," he said.
Mr Wilson said about 30 exhibitors would launch new products.
He said getting the site prepared for the Wimmera Machinery Field Days was a challenge.
"We had kilometres of white lines that needed to go down to mark out the sites," he said.
Another challenge was getting exhibitors to their sites when they arrived.
"We have more than 300 companies arriving all at once and we have to assist them as best as we can,'' Mr Wilson said.
"We are always looking to improve the site and make it better for exhibitors and patrons.''
Mr Wilson said working bees started in January.
"It is a 23-hectare site that we have transformed into a state-of-the-art field days exhibition site," he said.
Mr Wilson encouraged everyone in the Wimmera visit Longerenong for the event.
"The Wimmera Machinery Field Days is the biggest event in western Victoria," he said.
He said it was an important event for anyone from a farming background or involved in agriculture.