America & Me Essay Contest

L to R: Grace Servinski, Johnathan DeVoll, Hanaa 

 Onekama Students Named 

Essay Contest Winners

 

Three eighth grade students from Onekama Consolidated Schools have been named local winners in the fiftieth annual America and Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

 

The three students are Grace Servinski, first; Johnathan DeVoll, second; and Hanaa Fraly, third. All three received award certificates for their achievement.

Grace Servinski’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 $2000. 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.

Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 400 Michigan schools participated in the 2018-2019 contest. The topic of the contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.”

 

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

Can’t Clock Out

Grace Servinski 


Have you ever wondered what kind of job you can’t clock out of? Well, I can tell you: one important job you can’t clock out from is being a farmer. It’s a job that feeds the world. A job with bad pay. The type of job where you put more pride into your employees then you do yourself. Where you can put your all into this little plant and then have it destroyed by forces beyond your control. Where you feel like you can’t keep doing it and then some little shine of the sun gives you hope. Michigan farmers are my inspiration and my hero, because they battle all this and still keep doing it.

Farmers keep going on little pay. It’s one of the reasons why farmers grow so many crops. Farmers grow so many varieties of food just so we can have a dinner in front of us. We grow oats, corn, wheat, cattle, chickens, pigs, and so much more. When you’re a farmer, you just can’t choose your price cause then your price doesn’t match or come close to the market price and then you dig yourself a hole of failure. Farmers everywhere are suffering from the prices being too low. Beef steers go for $95-110 a 100 pounds. That may sound like a good price, but it isn’t. You are putting a lot of money and time into these animals and then when they are finished you get this little amount of money which makes you think: Why do you keep doing it? Then get you back to thinking and see that this is what you love doing. It’s what you live for.

A farmer’s highest price right now would be to sell cow/calf pairs and bred females which isn’t a good option because cows make up most of the herd. The price for them is $725.00 - 1125.00 which still isn’t good enough. Pigs go for $0.72 per pound (well, that’s if you’re lucky). The worst price you can get for a hog is $0.10 per pound. That isn’t even enough to pay for gas for the drive home. Some might think they are crazy for doing the job when prices are so low, but just because one time is bad doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stop trying.

            Michigan farmers work 24/7 to assure that our animals and crops are thriving. We never stop going. Farmers can’t take sick days from work, and if we did, everything on that farm would just stop. Winter can be hard on farms, but on cattle farms, every winter is hard. We don’t get any sleep and if we do it’s only a couple of hours. Farmers have to check cows in the winter to either help calve or are checking for calving. They go from a farmer to a nurse, doctor, and so much more. Like a doctor, a farmer is always on call. They can be kicked, rammed, squished, and so many more and yet they get back up and do it all over again.

It’s a dangerous job but it truly is worth all the pain and let down and everything else that comes with it. A farmer will put 100% into the animals and crops that they raise. They’ll use binder twine from their daughter’s hair, to hold a gate together. They’ll use nails to replace a part in tractors. A farmer’s child is raised just like they do their crops: putting love, care, and water into them and watching them grow like weeds. In times of need, we come together like family and help each other. We lend hands to the ones that need them. We may be a community but we are more of a family. Just because someone isn’t a farmer like them that doesn’t mean we won’t help someone different. In a way that matters, we are all the same. We raise barns, crops, animals, but most importantly we raise hope. A barn or a field is more of a home to us than a house.

Our overalls wear holes of work. Restaurants and schools need farms, whether the farm provides fruit and vegetables or both meat and fruits and veggies. So many businesses wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for someone working in the field day and night. We don’t count the hours working. We lose track of them. You may work 40 hours a week but our work hours don’t get written on our worksheet. We work overtime but don’t get paid for it. Hardships are something we go through all the time, but we still keep going. Whether it’s raining, snowing, storming, etc.

We raise families, crops, animals, and hope. Farming is a job with bad pay. The type of job where you hardly get sleep. Where you put way more care into the things you raise then you do yourself. It’s a job that feeds a town, state, country, and the world. The job you can’t clock out of is the job we will never trade for any other job there is out there. We live for this. It’s in our blood. Some superheroes wear capes, but Michigan farmers don’t need capes to show how much of a hero they can be.

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