Carson Deppe, 18, is a 2020 Central DeWitt graduate and the son of Douglas and Kim Deppe, of DeWitt. He is attending Illinois State Central College on a scholarship, and is a member of the school’s livestock judging team. Carson will later transfer to Iowa State University, where he will study agronomy.

If 2020 Central DeWitt graduate Carson Deppe could give future high school students a bit of advice, it would be to try lots of activities freshman year.

They won’t necessarily be the same activities in which their friends participate.

And that’s OK.

For example, Carson was involved in football his freshman year of high school. However, eventually he chose to dedicate his time to other extracurriculars he enjoyed more, which included 4-H and FFA.

The son of Douglas and Kim Deppe, of DeWitt, was an officer in his 4-H club for six years, and served on the Clinton County 4-H Youth Council. In FFA, he was an officer for two years and was heavily involved in the crops committee.

Carson also showed cattle in both 4-H and FFA at the county and state fairs, and showed the champion 4-H Angus steer at the Iowa State Fair in 2017.

His favorite activity in high school, Carson noted, was his time on his FFA chapter’s livestock judging team.

That, he said, is where he truly shined.

“I have been very successful with every team I was on,” he said. “I have been the high individual in Oral Reasons for three years in a row at the state level, and in the top 10 at the national level for the past two years.”

Not only did he enjoy participating on the livestock judging team, but Carson also liked knowing he was following in his family’s footsteps.

“My family is who got me involved,” he related. “My dad was on a livestock judging team in high school and college, as well as being in FFA. Both of my parents showed cattle in 4-H, which kept me doing that competitively through high school.”

In fact, he credits his parents as well as his teachers for keeping him on the right path and emphasizing the importance not only of school, but also of working to the best of his abilities.

The friends Carson made in 4-H and FFA motivated him to stay involved and strive to do his best.

The fact that the team enjoyed a little friendly competition helped them make each other better as well.

Carson attributes his growth as both a student and a person to his involvement in 4-H and FFA.

As he begins his freshman year of college, Carson admits he has come a long way from when he was a freshman in high school.

For that, he is grateful.

“I would definitely say I was a lot quieter and not as able to speak my mind when I first came into high school,” Carson shared. “These activities I have been involved in have improved my public speaking skills and ability to defend my position on the spot. These correlate to me being able to speak in front of a crowd and not be afraid to help others in a situation when it’s needed.”