THE Crothers family's significant Dirranbandi property Booligar has sold after a remarkable 157 years of ownership.
Now the developed 11,254 hectare (27,809 acre) irrigation and grazing property will be operated by the Hunt family from Mallawa, south west of Moree, who will run the property in conjunction with the Swain family from Walgett.
"Of course it was a challenging process and ultimately a very tough decision," Douglas Crothers said.
"But we're confident it's the right one for our family."
The Crothers came to Dirranbandi 158 years ago in 1864 when Henry Crothers took up about 4000 hectares of country on the eastern side of Narran River
Brooks Crothers - one of first generation's 13 children - drew the second block in a land ballot in 1905. Then in 1913 bought a block from the Treweeke family bringing the enterprise to its current size.
However, it was the vision of third generation Tom Crothers first used irrigation as a way drought proofing the livestock operation.
Tom - who bought out his brothers Murray and Charles - built the first storage in the late 1950s, later installing a centre pivot irrigator. That first 480ML dam was said to be the largest of its type in Australia at that stage.
Tom's sons Donald and Douglas engaged in a buy-out process from 1984 until the mid-1990s.
The big shift towards cotton began in 1996, and ultimately the development of 9200 megalitres of on-farm water storage.
Today Booligar has 687ha of irrigation and 3600ha of dryland farming as well as livestock.
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The story Booligar changing hands after 157 years of ownership first appeared on Queensland Country Life.