The ADGA Youth Essay Contest is a yearly event judged at ADGA Annual Convention. You don’t have to attend Annual Convention to enter. There are cash awards and recognition in ADGA News & Events for winners.

The essay deadline is 12:01 am September 1, 2024 Eastern Time.

Essay Topic

When and how have I advocated for dairy goats.

Who Can Participate?

Open to any youth who is a Youth or Regular Member of ADGA or is part of a Family Membership.  You do not need to be at the Annual Meeting and Convention to enter or to win.

Age Divisions

Your age as of September 1, 2024

Junior – 10 years of age and under
Intermediate I – 11-13 years of age
Intermediate II – 14-16 years of age
Senior – 17-20 years of age

Essay Submission Guidelines

1. The essay must have been written by the youth member between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024.

2. The essay must be between 500 – 750 words.

3. The essay must be double spaced, typed with the pages numbered, and single-sided.

4. The essay must include these five parts:

a. Purpose or Main idea
b. Title
c. Introduction
d. Body of information. Conclusion

5. No one other than the youth participant may compose any part of their submission.

Submit Your Essay

1. Include a cover page that includes your name, age as of September 1, 2024, and contact information.

2. Email your entry to the ADGA Director of Communications:

3. Essays must be received no later than 12:01 am September 1, 2024 Eastern Time.

Essay Winner Announcements

1. Winning entries will be awarded at the Annual Convention youth meeting in October/November.

2. First place in each age division will receive a cash award of $65; second place in each age division will receive a cash award of $35.

3. Winning entries may appear in ADGA publications or publications of associated organizations.

How Essays Will Be Evaluated

The same scoring rubric will be used for all ages.

Evaluation will take into account the development stage of the youth as follows:

a. Junior

Beginning to think logically and symbolically.Vocabulary is greater than experience.Can read words they don’t understand.Still think concretely, however, can handle ideas if they are related to things they can do or experience with their senses.There is no middle ground; things are either right or wrong, fun or boring.Very curious and ask many questions.Want to make choices but are confused by too many options.


b. Intermediate I

Moving from concrete to more abstract thinking.Enjoy finding solutions on their own.Depth and scope of intellectual interests are increasing; they want to try new things.Enjoy playing with ideas; learning to think for themselves.Getting better at making choices, but still need guidance.Are better at planning than executing.


c. Intermediate II & Senior

Have increasing ability to see how things relate and to use this in problem solving; are mastering abstract thinking.Have the ability to make and execute short term plans; able to initiate and carry out tasks without supervision.Are becoming better judges of their abilities.Goals are based upon personal needs and priorities.

Criteria For Evaluating Essays

(For each criterion a score of 1 to 5 will be given with 5 being the best score.)

1. Understanding the Topic: To what extent did the writer demonstrate a clear understanding of the question and respond with details about his/her experience?

2. Original Thinking Relative to the Topic: To what extent was the original thinking relative to the subject?

3. Effectiveness in Presenting a Point-of- View: To what extent did the writer present his/her point-of-view?

4. Literary style, grammar, and spelling.