For over a decade, the Irish Farmer Calendar has featured some of Ireland’s farmers in various fun poses.
They're back! The 2024 edition of the popular Irish Farmer Calendar featuring good lads of Éire is here to set your walls on fire. This year, the "Fan Favourites" edition includes the shirtless farmers pictured alongside a host of adorable farm animals like rabbits, a goat, a lamb, horses, hens and to add some humor to the mix, there are even shots featuring a Lamborghini pulling a hay trailer.
In an exclusive interview with Upworthy, the creator of the calendar series, Ciara Ryan, shared that she was first inspired by the famous fireman calendars that have been doing the rounds on the internet for years. But she wanted to add a bit of a twist. She said, "The firemen calendars were the initial inspiration. I felt the farmers should be featured in the same light, but not just posing and looking pretty. I wanted to add another dimension to the images in the form of humor." Ryan believes that the rural farmers of Ireland, who are an integral part of the country, deserve their own calendar.
One of the farmers featured in the calendar, Donagh Heffernan, said he enjoyed working in front of the camera to be part of the special edition. He tells us he first heard about the calendar through his sister. "The calendar was a bit of a surprise to me initially! I was entered obliviously by my eldest sister Bríd as maybe a part of a gag. I received a phone call from calendar director Ciara Ryan out of the blue one afternoon, congratulating me for being selected for the calendar and the receiving times and locations for the shoot two weeks later. I jumped at the opportunity," he shared.
Heffernan calls himself a typical farmer's son, who has spent his time farming, milking cows and feeding calves for as far as he can remember. At age 8, he even learned how to operate tractors! He didn't expect to end up being on a calendar featuring other farmers, but he did enjoy the creative thought behind it. "The process was simple enough. Turn up on time, bring a few pieces of different clothing ideas that I'd wear working at home on the farm and that was pretty much it. Oh, and don't forget the Wellies!" he said, laughing.
As for Ryan, the calendar was brought about just to put a smile on people's faces. "The calendar is gentle fluff in a world that has plenty of harsh news," she explained, adding that over the years, "fans have complimented the 'farmer talent' and some of the clever humorous poses and of course, the adorable animals."
"Last year was meant to be the final year of the calendar but we received many supportive messages from fans expressing their hope that we would do another year, so we produced the 'Fan Favourites' edition for the loyal fanbase we have and it is a good showcase of images from the last 14 years for anybody new to the calendar," she said.
Last year, the 2023 calendar was a bit different from all the previous years. Instead of the usual 12, it presented 23 images as it also featured some new photographs that had not been published due to COVID-19 restrictions. Can people expect another edition next year? Well, it all depends on how the fans react. "We take each year as it comes. It will remain to be seen. We have farmers applying for potential future editions of the calendar regularly, so we may end up producing new images next year, but it's too early to say," Ryan said.
The Irish Farmer Calendar 2024 is available to purchase here.