They’re the cream of the crop and are outstanding in their field when it comes to posing for the camera
The 12 beefy guys love nothing better than to pose with a pitchfork, an axe or a welly, hang out in a haybarn, or spend time with their array of farm animals like sheep, pigs, cattle, goats, alpacas, hens and cockerels. They even drag in some cuddly pets such as kittens, dogs and rabbits for the hilarious shoot.
This year’s version of the annual calendar features agricultural hunks from counties Offaly, Mayo, Dublin, Wicklow, and Kilkenny.
“So far, this has gone down a treat with fans and we see new orders coming in every day from all over the world. It is great to see the calendar has universal appeal,” says creator of the 13th issue of the calendar series, Ciara Ryan.
Mr September is Brendán Callan-Bergin (34) who grew up in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, but now owns a farm near Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.
“My family had farms in various parts of the country, so in a sense it’s in my blood”, he explains.
His relatives own farms near Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Moate Co. Westmeath and Ahascragh, Co. Galway.
“They left the land because there wasn’t any jobs or money in it, and I suppose I bucked the trend by going back to the land.”
Brendán was initially reticent to take part in the calendar when approached but changed his mind when he found out it would be a bit of fun.
“I run, I swim and then I do body weight exercises, rings that sort of stuff. The nature of what we do keeps you relatively fit anyway,” he says.
“I think if you’re willing to go into a calendar and take your top off and whatever, you kind of have to be in good shape, or at very least you have to be body confident enough to do it.”
Having studied Agricultural Science in UCD, he soon realised his main passion was in Equine Studies.
“Horses are my absolute passion. I got my first horse when I was 22. I bought a land to have a horse farm, a riding school as a going concern at the end of 2013. That was my step into the farming end of things.”
He and his wife Michelle, who recently had their first child, five-month-old Rosie, then bought Tamworth pigs, Dexter cattle, and also own sheep and cockerels and hens.
“I wanted the farm to be as traditional as possible, but the main money winner is the horse riding school. We had to buy a load of riding school horses to continue on that business. The numbers grew from there to meet the demand of the business that is currently there.”
He says they have produced their own meat, primarily from their cattle, and until recently from their pigs.
“We have just two pigs left, we’ve stopped producing pork for ourselves. Our two sows we have will live out their days here, they’re pets.”
Brendán reveals that like for most people, lockdown was tough. “The thing was that government support for the farming industry was very poor, especially when I think of my counterparts who are involved in feeding the country, the support wasn’t there to keep us going.
“Like, we had to feed all our animals off the PUP payment, and it was fine for the first lockdown because we had grass. But the second lockdown was in winter and we basically had to decimate our savings to keep our animals fed and there was no support for us, but that’s just the way it goes and we survived.”
The calendar is now available from www.farmercalendar.com for €12.99 and will be available in Calendar Club stores in Ireland and the UK from October