SOAKING rain throughout the Southern Riverina and strong commodity prices will help draw strong crowds to the 53rd annual Henty Machinery Field Days.
It’s estimated 60,000 people will inspect $110 million worth of machinery and goods on site from Tuesday until Thursday.
More than 850 exhibitors will display their wares on 1200 sites.
An economic impact study revealed the field days contributed $92 million to the national economy.
The study, done by Crowe Horwarth last year, showed the field days created about $30 million in economic value and sustained 321 full-time jobs in southern NSW and northern Victoria.
The total spend from the field days is worth $56 million each year, or $92 million with the multiplier effect, sustaining 986 jobs nationally.
Field days chairman Ross Edwards said the study showed the importance of the event.
“Not only in this region but across Australia – to think this is the result of a one-day header school in the 1960s makes one feel humble to be the leader of this massive achievement,’’ Mr Edwards said.
This year marks the 40th anniversary since the co-operative moved to a permanent site on the Cookardinia Road, east of Henty.
The Henty Machine of the Year Award will be presented at the official opening on Tuesday.
The field days will be officially opened by Australian Dairy Farmers vice-president and Wagga dairy farmer Simone Jolliffe.
Country Lifestyle now has an all-weather site with a 120m-long shed and a sealed floor to house 105 exhibitors.
To mark the 40th anniversary at the Cookardinia Road site, there will be vintage fashion parades featuring garments from the mid-1970s daily at 11am and 2.30pm.
The Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards showcase designs using at least 70 per cent natural fibres with the winners announced about 1pm Thursday.
Cooking demonstrations and talks will take place at the Farm Gate Market Produce Area.
On Wednesday Beechworth Bakery’s Tom O’Toole will make sweet and savoury treats at noon and 3pm and Platform 9’s Caz Higgs will offer a coffee masterclass at 10am and 2pm.
Two free shuttle buses will stop at eight points around the site.
Gates open from 8am to 5pm.