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“Abbey the Intern” – Out With the Old, In With the New!

As the holiday season officially ends and the New Year begins, I can’t help but remember how wonderful the year 2013 has been.

First, it’s hard to believe I’ve been an intern here at the Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) for seven months already. I have learned so much and truly feel like a part of the MAC family.

Second, I know that the year 2013 has been a big year for Michigan Apples, and I am grateful to have been a part of that. It has been a privilege and eye-opening to see all the hard work that goes into Michigan apples, from the moment they are planted to the moment they reach consumers’ hands.

I also admire working with people who don’t just acknowledge their product alone, but who also work hard to make sure that GL_Expoeveryone is properly recognized for their accomplishments (e.g., growers and shippers). For instance, on Wednesday, Dec. 11th, MAC hosted their 11th annual grower luncheon during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a way to honor and support the Michigan apple industry. The luncheon was a big success, with a record attendance of 290 people and a record in sponsorships of more than $10,000!

A new Michigan Apple Queen and Court were crowned during the luncheon as well, with Elizabeth Wittenbach, 19, from Belding, Mich., to serve as the 2014 Michigan Apple Queen, and Emily Webster, 21, from Paw Paw, Mich., to serve as her court and First Runner-Up. Keep an eye out for these ladies, since they will be spending the next year traveling to various schools, festivals and events representing the Michigan apple industry.

Additionally, the 17th Annual MAC Cider Contest happened that day. Big congratulations to first place winner Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill, second place winner Jim Hill of Hill Brothers, and third place winners Jim and Becky Engelsma of Engelsma’s Apple Barn and Cider Mill!

And what better way to end the year than watching the MSU Spartans win the Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State University (34-24) and earning their spot to play in the 100th Rose Bowl against Stanford University? The last time MSU played in the Rose Bowl was in 1988, when they won against University of Southern California (20-17).

Green RosesTo help nourish our beloved Spartans to victory, MAC sent 200 Jonagold apples with a letter of encouragement to MSU’s football team before the big game against Stanford. And since apples are part of the rose family, we saw this as the perfect way to show our support. Thanks to a beautiful play by MSU’s ranked #1 defense, MSU won against Stanford (24-20), ranking the team #3 in the nation — no wonder why MSU coach Mark Dantonio was smiling so much!

All in all, it’s safe to say that 2013 was good to us here at MAC and MSU. Here’s to another prosperous year in 2014! Go green!