The National Young Farmer contest will begins on Thursday.
Seven finalists face three days of intensive competition, starting with technical challenges and culminating in a televised quiz on Saturday night.
Marketing manager Mike Cranstone says it's going to be even more challenging than usual this year, because none of the contestants has experienced the pressure of a grand final before.
All of them are first timers. As well as the title, they're competing for more than $168,000 in prizes, ranging from cash to farm equipment and fertiliser products.
Contestants were delivered to Palmerston North on Wednesday by the RNZAF. An Iroquois helicopter landed them in the square.