For four generations, the Fargher name has been synonymous with wool production in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. About 500 kilometres north of Adelaide and a few minutes’ drive from the old copper-mining town of Blinman, the family’s Angorichina Station forms part of the Oratunga lease, which has a carrying capacity of 9500 sheep, covers some 554 square kilometres, and incorporates Angorichina, Artimore and the original Oratunga run, taken up by current owner Ian Fargher’s great-grandfather, John William Fargher.
The Angorichina lease was first worked in the 1850s during a period of rapid expansion in the Flinders Ranges. Robert ‘Peg Leg’ Blinman became the official discoverer of the extensive Blinman copper deposit when he was watching sheep on Angorichina.
As the town expanded around the mine, so too did Angorichina, which was taken over by Henry C. Swan in 1862. By 1877 the station was carrying almost 14,000 sheep and 250 head of cattle. The lease changed hands numerous times over the next few years, until bought by the Fargher family.
Ian couldn’t wait to get home to the property once he had completed his secondary education at Adelaide’s Scotch College. In a well-managed generational handing-on, he gradually took over the running of the property from his father Max, becoming the boss in 1982 when his parents moved to a grazing property between Coonalpyn and Meningie in south-east South Australia. Ian and Di settled into life at Angorichina with their two young children, Prue and Alice, and meanwhile, Ian’s brother Ross married Di’s sister Jane, taking over Nilpena Station, which the Farghers had bought that same year.
Then the long drought started.