Youth Essay Contest

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.

Contest Closed for 2021

The essay deadline was 12:01 am September 1, 2021 Eastern Time. We hope you will enter an essay in 2022.

Essay Topic

How have your goats helped you get through difficult and stressful times?

Who Can Participate?

Open to any youth who is a youth or regular member of ADGA or who is part of a family membership. You do not need to be at the Annual Meeting and Convention to enter or to win.

What Are The Age Divisions?

(Your age as of August 31, 2021)

a. Junior – 10 years of age and under
b. Intermediate I – 11-13 years of age
c. Intermediate II – 14-16 years of age
d. Senior – 17-20 years of age

Essay Submission Guidelines

1. The essay must have been written by the youth member between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021.

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
e. Conclusion

How to Submit Your Essay

1. Include a cover page that includes your name, age as of September 1, 2021, and contact information.

2. Email your entry to the ADGA Communications Specialist:

3. Essays must be received no later than 12:01 am September 1, 2021 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

1. The same scoring rubric will be used for all ages.

2. 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 Your Essay

(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.

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