Organisers of the Maori Excellence in Farming Award are delighted with the range of entries from sheep and beef farmers in this year's competition.
It is 80th anniversary of the Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2013, which is competed for by individual Maori farmers, as well as Maori trusts and incorporations.
Organising committee chairman Kingi Smiler says the competition, conceived by Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe in 1932, is special.
He says it will be a great opportunity to recognise past participants and winners, particularly over the past decade.
Mr Smiler says Maori beef and sheep farmers and incorporations from throughout the North Island have entered this year's competition.
It includes a farm review, financial strategy, governance, social and environmental strategy and innovation, as well as a field day.
"These are generational businesses where we are holding land on behalf of those that are yet to be born and so therefore the need for sustainability in making sure (it's) sustainable both profitably and in the total context of the environment is very important," says Mr Smiler.
The first round of judging to select the finalists begins towards the end of February, with four judges selecting three competitors from each region.