Nearly 25,000 people attended day one of the 50th New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation opened this year's event on Wednesday speaking of the changes the agricultural industry has seen over the last 50 years and introduced this year's theme of the future of farming.

"New Zealand and our agricultural industry is vastly different to what it was in 1969 largely driven by our hunger and desire to be leaders in our special industry," he said.

"As a small country at the bottom of the world we have utilised innovation and technology driven off the back of a Kiwi can-do attitude to our advantage to make our mark on the world. Like our sporting achievements, agriculture also boxes far above its weight on the world stage. We produce world class food, world class technology and word class farmers."

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Also present at the opening ceremony was Fieldays patron and Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy.

On a day of light drizzle 24,663 people took in more than 1000 exhibitors across 1400 sites.

In 2017 133,588 people visited the four-day event and it generated $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.

Fieldays runs until Saturday.