Two years in the making, the gates are open for the 19th Southern Field Days.

It is not only love in the air at Waimumu this Valentine's Day.

Oil is burning, machines are turning and 756 exhibitors are on site for the three-day event.

Southern Field Days secretary Sharon Paterson said every little bit of space was occupied this year and everybody was positive going in to the event.

Advertisement

The event had attracted exhibitors and spectators from Australia and there were also spectators coming from the United Kingdom.

''It's just making the whole region hum.''

The field days gave the rural community the opportunity to view the latest technological advances and retailers the chance to showcase their wares, she said.

She described the event as being a win-win for businesses, the region and those attending.

It gave the region's economy a welcome boost.

There would also be some star attractions throughout the three days, including the Southern Man Competition, the New Zealand Fencing Competitions South Island doubles, the Otago-Southland Young Farmers fencing competition, the speed shears, the tractor pull and the Southern Rural Life Innovation Awards.

The Southern Man competition was being held today, with contestants competing in seven heats throughout the day.

The tractor pull heats also begin today and will run the entire three days of the Southern Field Days.

The fencing competitions will be held tomorrow.

The winner of the Southern Rural Life Innovation Award will be announced on Friday along with the winner of the speed shear competition.

World record-holder and former shearing world champion Rowland Smith isone of the names expected to feature at this year's speed shears.

- Southern Rural Life