Ireland’s ‘model’ farmers bare almost all for calendar

With his dad, James Grannell, already being a poster boy for Wexford Dairy’s cheese, it’s little wonder that James Jnr. features on the Irish Farmer Calendar for the second year in a row.

James Jnr. is ‘Mr. February’ and ‘Mr. December’ in the Irish Farmer Calendar 2018, which supports the charity, Bothar. He is one of a number of ‘hunks of agricultural charm’ to take their tops off and pose for the calendar.

Grannell farms in partnership with his dad, and also teaches history and religion in a girls’ secondary school in Sutton, Dublin. “I work weekends and school holidays on our dairy farm, and also play hurling with my local club, Crossabeg, Ballymurn.

One of the lads sent in my details, unknown to me, two years ago. I enjoyed it last year although it’s a bit random, taking your top off and posing with various animals. Once the school kids got wind of it, they were afraid I was going to give up the day job.

He is hoping that the exposure will land him a longterm jiving partner with a capacity for lots of hard farm work. “It’s not all glamour and photo shoots down on the farm.”

On a more serious note, he was keen to support Bothar through the calendar. “My uncle has been involved with Bothar, and rears goats for them, and we rear a heifer for the charity every year. It’s great to give something back, and support a ‘Third World’ charity.”

Co. Cork suckler farmer, Michael Cronin, has also made it onto the Irish Farmer Calendar for the second year in a row.

“I’m surrounded by dairy farmers here in Crossbarrry, so they have been slagging me that I’ve plenty of time to do the calendar,” he laughed.

His wife, Lisa, put him forward for participation in the calendar last year, and before he knew it, he was featured. “I wasn’t too keen, but people encouraged me as they said I could talk for Ireland.

This year I decided to use it as motivation for going to the gym, as well as helping to raise some money for charity.

The women in his life – Lisa as well as his 84-year-old mother, Margaret, aunts Nora and Mary, and 5-year-old daughter, Caoimhe – are all delighted with his ‘Mr. March’  and ‘Mr. November’ fame. “I tell Lisa how lucky she is to be married to a page three model – I appeared on page three of a newspaper, along with a few other lads, last year.”

Cronin has previously had off-farm jobs in construction and is currently looking for work. If the catwalk doesn’t call, he will consider other things, he laughed. “I have plenty to keep me busy on the farm, preparing sheds for winter, replacing gutters and the like. Making money is the problem.”

Farmers from: Kilkenny; Tipperary; Roscommon; Derry; and Dublin also feature in the calendar which was shot at Croan Cottages and farm, Kilkenny. They appear alongside: goats; pigs; hens; sheep; rabbits; peacocks; and a French bulldog.


This is the 9th year of publication for the calendar, dubbed ‘agri porn’ by RTE presenter, Ryan Tubridy.

The creator of the series, Ciara Ryan, said the first order for the 2018 calendar came from Tucson, Arizona, in the US. Other orders are said to have come in from around the globe, from an audience eager to see the charms of Ireland’s farms.

Could Vogue come calling? These guys are all set for a farm diversification portfolio with a difference.