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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Winners of 54th America & Me Essay Contest Honored in Lansing

Date Posted: June 1, 2023

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan joined with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, Michigan Princess, and the Lansing Lugnuts in honoring the top ten statewide winners of the company’s 54th annual America & Me Essay Contest. In addition to a cash award of $1,000, and an additional $1,000 for the student’s school, the winners received recognition at the Michigan Secretary of State’s office in a ceremony with Deputy Secretary of State Aghogho Edevbie, as VIP guests at a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game, and at luncheon ceremony while cruising the Grand River aboard the Michigan Prince Riverboat where they received plaques and medallions as their winning essays were highlighted.

See highlights from this year’s celebration:

The student essays for this, the 54th  annual contest, were based on the topic, "My Personal Michigan Hero." The final ranking of the winners was determined by a panel of judges comprised of Farm Bureau Insurance’s CEO Don Simon; contest founder Jack Stucko; and one teacher from a top ten statewide school winner from the 2021-‘22 contest year. “This was a fabulous collection of essays,” said Simon. “It was truly difficult to select our winners this year. The caliber of each of the winning essays was remarkable.”

The top ten statewide winners included (in order of finish, from 10th to 1st place) Simon Kelly of Holy Trinity Catholic School in Comstock ParkRyker Gill of West Iron County Middle School in Iron River, Hallie Van Tuyl ofNellie B. Chisholm Middle School in Montague (sponsored by agent, Rachel Levine), Katie Allen of Oxford Middle School in Oxford (sponsored by agent, Melisa Counelis), Harrison Sargent of Auburn Hills Christian School in Auburn Hills, Memphis Rickard of Hartland Middle School at Ore Creek in Hartland, Klara McArthur of Lakewood Middle School in Woodland, Christina Starr of St. Gerard School in Lansing (sponsored by agent, Tim Barry), Elisa Lopez of North Huron Schools in Kinde, and Taryn Bosman of Gaylord Middle School in Gaylord.  

Read this year’s winning essays:

The America & Me Essay Contest was founded by Farm Bureau Insurance in 1968 to embolden Michigan youth and will return for its 55th year this upcoming school year. All middle schools and junior highs, statewide, are eligible and encouraged to participate. Information and registration for participation will be sent to schools and updated on the Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan website as the next contest kicks off in Fall. For more details, contact Lisa Fedewa at [email protected]


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Cale Sauter

Public Relations & Social Media Strategist
517-391-5001 [email protected]

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