Founded by Jack Stucko in 1968, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan sponsors an annual statewide essay contest exclusively for eighth grade students. The writing competition was originally created to encourage young students to explore their career aspirations and consider how their future roles can impact their community. Today, students submit inspirational stories honoring someone who has personally made a difference in their lives - a Michigan Hero.
For over 50 years, more than 500,000 eighth graders from hundreds of Michigan schools have entered the writing contest. As a sponsor, Farm Bureau Insurance has also earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
The contest is open to all eighth-grade students in Michigan enrolled in a public or private school. All essays must be submitted by a school (not by an individual) and each participating school can submit up to 10 essays total. Schools must register online or through a Farm Bureau Insurance agent prior to the contest deadline to be considered.
The America & Me Essay contest offers a variety of awards on both the local and statewide levels. In their first year of participation, schools receive a plaque where current and future first-place student’s names will be engraved and displayed. Three essays are chosen from each school and the first-place essays are then entered into a statewide competition. In celebration of the 55th year, the top ten essays are selected, and each statewide winner will receive both a plaque and medallion, a $1,055 cash award and an invitation to our awards celebration event. $1,055 is also awarded to each winner’s school, plus the potential of another $555 if the school is sponsored by a Farm Bureau Insurance agent.
REGISTER A SCHOOL
This year’s contest, held September through Nov 8th, will ask students to write on the topic “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Farm Bureau Insurance Agents and Michigan 8th Grade Teachers can register a school in the 55th annual America & Me Essay contest.
Winning Essays from the 2022-’23 Contest Year
Gaylord Middle School, Gaylord
North Huron Schools, Kinde
St. Gerard School, Lansing
Lakewood Middle School, Woodland
Hartland Middle School at Ore Creek, Hartland
Auburn Hills Christian School, Auburn Hills
Oxford Middle School, Oxford
Nellie B. Chisholm Middle School, Montague
West Iron County Middle School, Iron River
Holy Trinity Catholic School, Comstock Park