Dowagiac students named local winners of essay contest

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Three students from Dowagiac Middle School have been named local winners in the annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The three students, who earned the first, second and third place awards for their school, are Ella Wilson, first, Millie Hartsig, second, and Piper Ruff, third. All three received award certificates for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, Wilson’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.

Dowagiac Middle School’s participation in the America & Me Essay Contest was sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance agent Jeff Neumann of Dowagiac.

Wilson’s first place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $2,000.

In addition, the top ten essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders, and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.

As part of Farm Bureau’s 50th anniversary celebration year, the business will be presenting each top ten statewide school with a $1,000 check and another $500 more if the school was sponsored by a Farm Bureau Insurance agent.

A team of finalist judges that includes a top Michigan government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top ten statewide winners this year.

Several thousand eighth grade students from over 400 Michigan schools participated in the 2018 – 2019 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2018 – 20 J 9 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”

Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore the greatness of America and its people. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.