THE Wimmera once again became the beating heart of Victoria's agriculture industry with the return of the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.
Now in its 57th year, the three day event held at Longerenong managed to draw patrons from across the state for its first day on Tuesday.
Wimmera Machinery Field Days committee president Chris Bartlett said having former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce open this year's field days was "positive" for the event.
"It was really positive to hear him speak. He is battling for us farmers - and not just farmers, but all Australians. It's good to have someone here from the federal level to actually hear the voice of the Wimmera and Mallee," he said.
Mr Bartlett said he was hoping to see big crowds at this year's event.
"We've changed the structure a bit this year with the first Twilight Night on Tuesday. We're hoping it encourages more people to come out to the event who normally wouldn't come," he said.
"The main thing we want people to take from this event is that it isn't just for farmers - there's something here for everyone."
Port Fairy resident and former Balmoral sheep farmer Michael Watt attended the event on Tuesday with his son Damien, of Essendon.
"I have been here many times for many years. Today was mainly to catch up with people who we like to see every year. Back in the day we came to buy machinery, now it's just a social catch up - some friends come from the north and we come from the south," Mr Watt said.
One of the new attractions at the event is the Isuzu Ute Iron Summit. At an angle of 45 degrees, it is the world's steepest 4WD ramp.
People are able to get the ride of their life by hopping in a ute with a professional driver and experiencing the steepness first hand. Team Isuzu D-MAX marketing and operations manager Luke Gemmill said the free passenger ride was a "thrill".
"It's designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the 4WD, while also being a thrill ride in the process," he said.
The O'Connors Horsham site featured two new Case IH headers. Case IH Australia and New Zealand product manager Tim Slater said the company's new 150 series 40th anniversary header had a vintage flair.
"It's limited edition and has a vintage paint job that reflects the way these were built in the 1970s, including white wheels and roof. It's made to look vintage but with all the modern technology you want," he said.
The company was also featuring its 8250 header - the latest model of its 250 series.
Horsham Hydraulics was featuring a new invention at its site - Outback Wrap. Horsham Hydraulics general manager Richard Magorcka said the colour coded wrap helped farmer identify which hose belonged to which part of a tractor.
The product is up for an innovation award at the field days.
Wednesday is family day with performances from children's' entertainer George the Farmer, a fashion parade and other activities.
The 2019 Wimmera Machinery Field Days will run until Thursday.
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