The first farmers to notify Mycoplasma bovis disease in 2017 blame the Government's poor response for their business woes.
Speaking to Dairy News from the Fieldays, Ray Smith noted the sector produced more milk per cow than it did previously and that was outstanding given that livestock numbers are down.
"Dairy has come through this amazingly well and you will see that growth continuing," he says.
Smith says the past 18 months have been challenging and stressful for everyone involved in the primary sector - both in government agencies and the private sector.
He says Covid has thrown up a whole new set of challenges especially around labour and logistics.
His main observation at Fieldays was that people were happy to get away from their day to day business and there was a good vibe amongst farmers and sector leaders.
"We gave a presentation on our programme - Fit for a Better World - and this was well attended and people came away happy that we as a sector had a plan to lift growth, sustainability and attract more NZers to work in the primary sector. Everyone was positive about the fact that we were working to lift all sectors and not trade anyone down," he says.
Smith says people realised that in these difficult times they were not alone.