Farmers flock to South Island Agricultural Field Days

Organisers of the South Island Agricultural Field Days are breathing a sigh of relief this week, with the event managing to avoid COVID-19 restrictions.

As many as 35,000 people are expected to walk through the gates at Kirwee, west of Christchurch, over the coming days to check out the more than 600 exhibitions on display.

Event chairperson Michaela McLeod says with so many other agricultural events being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions over the past year it's been a nervous build-up.

"I feel like I can finally relax a little that we're going to get three days of event in," she told The AM Show on Thursday.

She said after a busy - and often challenging year - for farmers, the event was an opportunity for those in the industry to not just check out the latest machinery and technology but also to socialise.

"Farmers really deserve a chance to come and see each other and catch up with friends and find out about new innovations," she said. 

'I think farmers have really been the backbone of our country for so long and they deserve an event like this - it's been a long time."

Founded in 1951, the South Island Agricultural Field Days is the oldest show of its kind in the country.

McLeod is the first female chairperson of the organising committee, something she says is "no big deal - because I know any woman could do this job".

She says so far the atmosphere at the event has been fantastic and is looking forward to the coming days.

"Everyone here is so happy - there's a great vibe."

The event runs until Friday.