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When Geoff Spark's Canterbury dairy farm was hit hard by Mycoplasma bovis, the cattle disease also took its toll on his wellbeing.
Having to cull around 2500 animals meant Spark had to "dig pretty deep" to get through one of the most challenging times in his farming career.
Open communication and being "fully engaged" proved to be a vital step in coping with the situation.
"With my sharemilkers, we talked around the table with MPI and took quite a proactive approach," Spark told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"Once we realised that we were really involved in the process, instead of running away from the problem we took exactly the opposite approach and basically embraced it."
Staying optimistic and honing in on finding answers also helped, Spark said.
"We were always looking to find the solution to get through to the other side and MPI really picked up on that too, so they were keen to help us because we were so positive."
One of the biggest challenges was building up the herd and replacing many years of lost genetics, Spark said.
Eventually, he brought in 1900 yearling heifers and grazed them for 12 months before they calved – which meant a year without milking.
"I guess it was about a three-year process from go to whoa and we're back to status quo now.
"We're probably stronger now than what we were beforehand, to be honest."
Understandably, the experience put pressure on Spark's staff, and he said the fact that they were still with him was one of the proudest achievements in his farming career.
"We've been through all that and we're still together. My sharemilker has been with us for 11 years now and we got through that together.
"I guess sharing the problem was one of the things that helped us through - if you were trying to deal with all that on your own it would be really, really tough."
Spring was a busy time of year on-farm, and Spark had some sage advice for any farmer feeling under pressure or isolated.
"Get your life in perspective. Keep your balance and keep connected and keep talking."
"Take time out…work is important, but it's actually not the most important thing. The most important thing is your family and your health.
"Your business is up there, but at the end of the day, if you haven't got your family and you haven't got your health – well, the business isn't worth much."
It was also important to check in on a mate who had "dropped off the radar a bit," Spark said.
"Take a minute or two to pick up the phone and give them a call and just ask them how they're doing.
"Because even that - it doesn't cost anything - it's just a few minutes of your time but it can actually make a really big difference to the person that you're calling."
Another way Spark was looking out for rural wellbeing was through his unique relationship with Farmstrong.
A few years ago, the 5-hectare irrigation lake on Spark's farm caught the attention of the Canterbury Triathlon Club's race director John Newsom.
Newsom paid Spark a visit and decided the lake was perfect for the Oxman half Ironman.
As a result, the farm hosted around 400 urban and rural athletes taking part in the triathlon, and Newsom wanted to pay Spark for his involvement.
Spark politely declined and suggested the money go towards Farmstrong instead, because he liked the wellbeing programme's motto - "Live well, farm well".
That was the start of Spark's relationship with Farmstrong which is still going today, along with Oxman which is run annually on the farm.