The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has paid out almost $124 million in compensation for claims related to the cattle disease, Mycoplasma bovis.
In February they announced an agreement to work together to advance the speed of dairy technology innovation and on-farm delivery of the best systems and products for New Zealand dairy farmers.
One of the first initiatives of that agreement is the joint sponsorship of the Waikato Chiefs Rugby Club to promote sport in rural schools.
From this month, dairy farmers have been asked to nominate a local rural school in the Chief's supporters region with three school sport rugby prizes to be won. The winning school will have their sports prize personally delivered by three members of the Chiefs.
Dean Bell, chief executive of Waikato Milking Systems, and Kip Bodle, managing director of Deosan, say their passion for helping people excel in their chosen field was born in dairying but extends across agribusiness and at home on the rugby field.
"We know rural schools face the same challenges as their urban counterparts, but these are often exacerbated by their relative isolation from large centres. The Waikato is dotted with small, vibrant schools and we want to do something which will make a difference to those schools and those kids.
"Rugby is one of the greatest training grounds for the attitude which will take children forward in the world so we're going to play our part."
Bodle says this campaign is about celebrating great grass roots brands from the Waikato and giving something back to the community.
"We are on a mission to connect with as many farmers as we can, at their shed gate, to give them a chance to try our products and meet our people.
"Getting our products on farm is how we can directly help improve the health and productive capacity of dairy herds with the best milking equipment for animals and people, and by improving udder health and the cleanliness of the milking plant. We see our rural school sports campaign as a way for us to achieve this while having a little fun at the same time."