Next week's A & P Show will feature alpacas, goats and horses, but commercial beef and sheep farmers will be competing for big titles.
The show's general manager, Brent Linn, said these competitions were particularly important for local farmers.
"It is the commercial competitions that point most directly and have the greatest relevance for farming businesses."
The Best in the Bay beef contest would offer a new twist on the usual A & P competition.
The competition was open to all beef producers between Wairoa and Pahiatua, with judging in three parts - on the hoof, carcass and eating quality.
Although sponsored by Affco, the competition was open to all regardless of supplier relationships.
The final portion of the contest would be on Friday, October 20, when Auckland chef Glen File would be on hand to cook the steaks.
The final product would then be taste-tested by a panel of three judges. It would be the first time beef would be judged at the A & P Show based on taste.
Mr Linn told Hawke's Bay Today he hoped it would be held every year from now on.
"It enables us to tell a story from the animal around the parade ring, to the industry, to what the consumer sees on the plate.
"We are very thankful for their support and sponsorship, and we hope it becomes an annual event."
An export lamb contest, sponsored by Progressive Meats, was also being held, with entrants to select their top three lambs.
There would be two divisions, one for lambs under 6 months and one for lambs over 6 months.
The lambs would be judged both on the hoof and on the hook.
"Perhaps these competitions mirror the evolution of farming from being production led to consumer led?" Mr Linn said.
Other competitions in 2017 included fencing, shearing and dog trials.
The fencing and shearing competitions would "celebrate the practical aspect of farming", Mr Linn said.
The fencing competition would be on Thursday next week, and the shearing on Friday.
Former Golden Pliers champion Paul Van Beers, who helped organise the fencing competition, said anybody could win.
"There are very good fencers coming from all over the country."
Current Golden Pliers champion Shane Bouskill would be competing, along with several national finalists.
The top prize in the beef competition would be $500, and top prizes of $100 were up for grabs for lamb in four separate categories.
The A & P Show will be a two-day event this year, starting on Thursday, October 19, with Wednesday a competition-only day. The show would stay open late on Thursday night instead.