Lincoln University has expanded its North Island footprint with a third farming partnership.
With a newly-formed trust, it will be running the Westoe sheep and beef farm north of Bulls as a training facility, and it hopes, eventually as a demonstration farm.
The university already works with two North Island schools which have dairy farms - Northland College in Kaikohe and St Peters at Cambridge in Waikato.
However, Vice-Chancellor Andrew West says the 418-hectare Westoe farm will offer something different.
"We've never had a sheep and beef demonstration farm before, this is going to be our first and we intend to make this something really special. We have one planned for the South Island, but we've been able to launch the North Island one ahead of that."
Dr West acknowledged the local farming family who gifted the farm.
"Jim and Diana Howard and their family have basically made a philanthropic donation to the nation in the form of a magnificent farm, principally for training, so it's an incredible gesture and really quite humbling for us to be associated with it."