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HMVET Sponsors Veterans Day Essay Contest

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December 20, 2018

The Hormel Military Veterans Engagement Team (HMVET) recently sponsored their annual Veterans Day Essay Contest for sixth graders.

This is the fifth year for the contest and school participation has grown from five schools to 13. The theme for this year was “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

“Thank you to the school administration and teachers, the students and the HMVET members that make this contest so memorable each year. The message that it is important to respect our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for this country is alive and well in our youth,” said Lynn Spainhower, administrative assistant in Grocery Products marketing and communications coordinator for HMVET. “To every veteran — we may not know you all, but we owe you all.”

The contest is open to schools in the communities in which we operate, and this year spanned across Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Winners are chosen at each school with the first place winner receving a $50 gift card, the two finalists receiving a $25 gift card and the first place student’s teacher receiving a $50 gift card to help with classroom supplies or curriculum.

2018 Winners

HMVET ESSAY ALGONA

Algona Elementary (Algona, Iowa)

HMVET Representative: Justin White, supervisor of dry sausage, Algona Plant
Finalist: Hanna Severson
First Place: Aidyn Schmitt
Finalist: Chase Studer
HMVET Representative: Roberto Salinas, supervisor of dry sausage, Algona Plant

HMVET ESSAY GRAND MEADOW
Grand Meadow Public Schools (Grand Meadow, Minn.)

First Place: Alyssa Peterson
Finalist: Jacob Sund
Finalist: Teague Alden
HMVET Representative: Chris Lea, supervisor of meat products, Austin (Minn.) Plant

HMVET ESSAY IJ Holton
IJ Holton Intermediate School (Austin, Minn.)

Mr. Eyre, 6th grade social studies teacher
Finalist: Madison Brekke
First Place: Emma Stanley
Finalist: Brenna Tschann
HMVET Representative: Lynn Spainhower administrative assistant, Grocery Products marketing, Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.)
Mr. Dewey Schara, Principal

HMVET ESSAY Spring Valley
Spring Valley Schools (Spring Valley, Minn.)

First Place: Maxwell Erdman
Finalist: Zachary Reiland
Finalist: Samuel Howard

HMVET ESSAY LR-O
LeRoy-Ostrander Public School (LeRoy, Minn.)

Finalist: Carter Sweeney
First Place: Bailey Bill
Finalist: Brooke Jasper

HMVET ESSAY WILLMAR
Willmar Public Schools (Willmar, Minn.)

HMVET Representative: Carol Westaby, compensation analyst, Jennie-O Turkey Store Corporate Office (Willmar, Minn.)
Finalist: Addie Roschild
HMVET Representative: Curtis Palmer, corporate quality assuance engineer and sanitarian, Jennie-O Turkey Store
First Place: Amelia Tauber
HMVET Representative: Joe Jeanotte, superintendent of smokehouse and pack, Jennie-O Turkey Store
Finalist: Evan Wallestad

HMVET ESSAY Spicer
New London-Spicer School District (New London, Minn.)

HMVET Representative: Carol Westaby, compensation analyst, Jennie-O Turkey Store Corporate Office (Willmar, Minn.)
First Place: Alexa Knutson
Finalist: Ava Carlson
HMVET Representative: Curtis Palmer, corporate quality assuance engineer and sanitarian, Jennie-O Turkey Store
Finalist: Taylor Daucsavage

HMVET ESSAY Adams
Sacred Heart School (Adams, Minn.)

Finalist: Addison Retterath
HMVET Representative: Nicole Carroll, onboarding coordinator, Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.)
Finalist: Maverick Hanna
First Place: Brynn Sathre (not pictured)

HMVET Southland
Southland School District (Adams, Minn.)

HMVET Representative: Nicole Carroll, onboarding coordinator, Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.)
First Place: Abby Surgatz
Finalist: Kaitlyn Stern
Finalist: Mason Lewison

Pictures not available:

Trinity Lutheran School (Fremont, Neb.)

First Place – Sydney Meyer
Finalist – Trevor Denker
Finalist – Annabelle Bignell
HMVET Representative: Brian “Otto” Gerling, superintendent of sausage for Grocery Products, Fremont Plant

Clarke Community Elementary School (Osceola, Iowa)

First Place: Madelyn Sweeney
Finalist: Moyra Hicks
Finalist: Amy Morales
HMVET Representative: Chris Geis, night production superintendent, Osceola Food

Murray Elementary (Murray, Iowa)

First Place: Nevaeh Navarez
Finalist: Nathanial Rowe
Finalist: Justin Hollinger
HMVET Representative: Chris Geis, night production superintendent, Osceola Food

St. Ansgar Elementary (St. Ansgar, Iowa)

First Place: Kaylee Horgen
Finalist: Brylee Wynia
HMVET Representative: Mason Brown, superintendent of dry sausage, Austin Plant