20,000 people enjoy the Tocal Field Days experience at Paterson

MORE than 20,000 people displayed their support for local farming organisations at this year's annual Tocal Field Days at Paterson.

Manager Wendy Franklin said the attendance was very pleasing given the damp conditions on Saturday morning.

However, fine weather on Sunday led to bumper crowds.

Ms Franklin expects about $35,000 from ticket sale proceeds will be able to be given back through grants to community groups involved in the event.

She said more than 350 exhibitors attended the three-day event selling everything from farm machinery, produce, art and crafts as well as plants and gardening equipment.

The most popular purchase through parcel pick up was chooks.

In a shock result, the Bake or Burn competition was won by Bulahdelah High School.

"The food and wine tasting as well as usual Tocal favourite activities such as the billy boiling competition, cooking workshops, piglet races, alpaca shearing, gardening talks, livestock demonstrations, horse riding, quad bikes and the ute muster all proved popular," Ms Franklin said.

"People also appreciated the performances by 10 very talented Hunter school students who were paid to entertain the crowds through the Talent @ Tocal program."

Tocal Field Days Association chair and Tocal College principal Darren Bayley said more than 50 students were involved in all aspects of the event.

"Tocal on Show, a series of demonstrations highlighting the training that the pupils receive while studying at Tocal College, had excellent crowds," he added.

"With local farmers doing it tough in the current drought, Tocal Field Days provides an important opportunity for other community members to understand what life is like on the land and appreciate the contribution agriculture makes to our community.

"It is great to see so many people embracing agriculture and local farmers."