Despite three meetings in Tararua regarding Mycoplasma bovis, after it was discovered on a Makuri farm, there's still a great deal of uncertainty, especially for neighbouring farmers.
Last Thursday Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor visited Makuri and talked directly to the neighbours of the government-owned Rangedale farm at Pori, east of Pahiatua, where the entire herd of 900 cattle of various ages are being slaughtered.
"We are all connected in this district and we're all feeling the stress and uncertainty," Tararua District Mayor and dairy farmer Tracey Collis said.
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"Farmers are starting to plan and make decisions and put in place farming strategies and our rural support group has done a fantastic job.
"We've had a very challenging 12 months in Tararua, with Horizons Regional Council's One Plan and now Mycoplasma bovis. It doesn't seem fair."
But Collis said more farmers are now more informed and have better systems in place after three M. bovis meetings in the district.
"You learn something new at each meeting, but it's a very complex issue," she said.
"But I think we will all be better from this. Biosecurity will be improved and going forward this spring there will be big changes in farming practices."
Kieran McAnulty, Labour List MP based in Waiararapa, said it was a constructive meeting.
"I think the farmers and industry representatives appreciated the opportunity to ask questions directly of the minister," he said.
"I felt the mood was positive, with farmers pleased the Government were wanting to back the sector in trying to get rid of this disease.
"We have one shot to do this and so I was heartened by the commitment to work together to achieve this goal, although I am not surprised. This is Tararua, a region of tight communities and so people here are used to working together."
With the bull sale season underway, Collis said there are some anxious times ahead for farmers in Tararua and one farmer at the meeting said stud breeders were afraid of the false positives in testing semen and blood.
"It's a poisoned chalice. We're all afraid of being tested," he said.
Meanwhile, the Tararua Rural Support Trust has dropped information packs to Fonterra's Farm Source stores, Farmlands and Veterinary practices and another MPI roadshow will travel the country.
"The information packs contain really practical advice," Collis said.