A rally at the Gore A & P Showgrounds set the scene with the tractor drivers and an audience addressed by protest organisers Laurie Paterson and Bryce McKenzie, and Gore mayor Tracy Hicks.
A call to ignore the new freshwater regulations was greeted with applause.
When members of the audience were given the opportunity to speak, Waikaka farmer Brian Howden encouraged farmers to be united in ignoring the reforms.
Mr Howden said if farmers carried on farming as they had been the Government would be powerless to do anything about it.
"They can't put us all in jail and they can't fine us all," Mr Howden said.
Vehicles then drove from the showgrounds up Gore's Main St and back.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has previously said the intent of the regulations was very clear — to clean up the country’s waterways. Where the regulations were impractical or unclear, adjustments would continue to be made.
- Sandy Eggleston