It is a question which has undoubtedly occupied many of the finest minds of modern civilisation: which is the sexier profession, farming or teaching? Graeme Moon (pictured), therefore, does not answer immediately. “I mean, they’re both pretty sexy,” he says, eventually. “I would probably say farming, for legal reasons. You probably shouldn’t go down the route of sexy teachers. But I’m not belittling teachers. There are some attractive teachers out there, my wife included.”
The 31-year-old pig farmer has just been voted Britain’s sexiest farmer in a national competition. But, before deciding to spend his working life surrounded by dumb animals who wallow in their own filth, he taught in a Somerset further-education college.
After qualifying as a teacher, Mr Moon taught photography at Strode College, in Street. But the hours of the evening classes he taught were incompatible with plans to start a family. He was already working part-time on a farm, and decided to turn it into a full-time job.
“I was quite annoyed not to continue teaching,” he says. “But it’s a different way of life from what I’m doing now.”
Mr Moon’s wife Samantha, however, is a science teacher in their local town of Street. It was she who entered him for the competition to find Britain’s sexiest farmer, run by the magazine Farmers Weekly.
More than 300 entrants were whittled down to a shortlist of five men and five women by How To Look Good Naked presenter and fashion guru Gok Wan. A male and female winner were then chosen by public vote. Rachel Churches (also pictured) took the female prize.
In his official statement, Wan describes Mr Moon as having “killer eyes and strong brows, which anyone would love to meet across a crowded milking parlour. Definitely a man with rugged charisma. Oh, and look at those muscles and lovely forearms. He looks like he could throw a bale or two around.”
“It’s quite bizarre,” Mr Moon says of his ruggedly charismatic win. “I suppose it’s flattering, very flattering. It’s a bit of fun. You’ve got to take it all with a pinch of salt. As long as he doesn’t want to see me naked.”
The aim of the competition was to bring attention to farming as a viable career option, rather than simply a fallback profession. Mr Moon believes that teaching, too, might benefit from a similar profile-raising competition.
“I found teaching incredibly difficult: controlling classrooms, dealing with children, organising time,” he says. “It taught me a fantastic amount of skills, that I’d never have learnt if I’d gone straight into farming.
“On the other hand, farming is physically demanding. So physically demanding. But it’s also rewarding. They’re equally difficult professions. But equally rewarding.”