Whether you’re the state president or sitting with a peer that was alone at lunch, it’s making a difference. FFA is an organization based upon making a difference: making a difference for your peers, your school, your community, and your world.
The first General Session, held on June 20th, kicked off convention with keynote speaker Grant Baldwin. Baldwin has spoken to thousands of FFA members at 19 different FFA conventions about making that difference.
He began his career as a youth pastor and used it as a starting point for his motivational speeches. Baldwin was introduced to a couple of professional speakers and found a new career path. He began to find his ‘voice’ and share his message.
Grant explained that when making a difference there are two steps. Step number one being taking responsibility. He stated, “Stop assuming someone else will do it or take care of it. We have the mindset that we see something that bother us, but it doesn’t bother us enough to change it. Stop waiting for someone else to do it. Take responsibility.”
He followed with his second step, starting small. He explained that small things make large impacts. He explained, “Making a difference means starting small. You might do something that means nothing to you but everything to someone else.”
Baldwin explained that having a different voice has occurred within his own life, with his own daughter. “I’ll say something and it just won’t click, but when she hears it from someone else it does. I said that, but she didn’t hear my ‘voice,’” he explained.
In terms of relaying his message to FFA member comments, “For some students they hear similar stuff from their advisors or their parents, but when they hear it from someone like me it’s more like it’s coming from like a big brother, that type of vibe. And then it clicks or resonates differently than in the past.”
He concluded the interview by challenging the “Blue Mafia” to transform and make a difference. He stated, “My biggest thing is to really encourage members to take action. I think the danger is that it is really easy to hear a talk and to laugh, to nod, and to play along, but not do nothing different, then we have kinda wasted our time. So what are you going to do differently as a result? That would be my big challenge: take some sort of small action.”