Minnesota cattle producers faced six emotional and financially challenging years, but now they celebrate a reopening of markets nationwide after the state has been declared free of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Gov. Mark Dayton has issued a proclamation proclaiming TB-free day for the state’s cattle industry after 58 herds were destroyed and 800,000 animals tested.

The TB battle began in 2005 when a northwestern Minnesota cattleman reported that one of his cattle headed to slaughter appeared sick. Tests showed it had TB, which started six years of hardships that stretched to cattle producers across Minnesota.

Lowell Schafer, who runs a farm in Goodhue County with more than 300 cows, felt the effects as well.

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