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  • Hello, my name is Birke Baehr, and I'm 12 years old.

  • (Laughter)

  • I came here today to talk about the power of ideas worth spreading.

  • The talk you just watched me perform was just 442 days ago,

  • right here in Ashville,

  • at the TEDxNextGenerationAsheville event

  • held at the Orange Peel.

  • That day I was excited, nervous and inspired.

  • Little did I know what type of profound effect

  • my words on that stage would have.

  • When I talked about my passion,

  • for what's wrong with our food system.

  • About a month later, my talk was posted on the Internet.

  • Little did I know that it would be shared and viewed by many different people.

  • I watched in amazement as the number of views started to rise.

  • I was even more amazed when Ashley Cooper,

  • the director of TEDxNextGenerationAsheville,

  • told me that TED was interested in putting my talk on TED.com.

  • My Mom started receiving requests

  • for me to be speaking at different events and groups.

  • (Laughter)

  • I started a website and a Facebook page too,

  • to share with other people

  • what I was continuing to learn about food and farming

  • I'm pretty sure that my talk, that you just watched,

  • has around 400,000 views,

  • and it may still be the most viewed TEDx talk today.

  • TED.com posting of my presentation has around 500,000 views.

  • It has been a humbling experience.

  • (Laughter)

  • When the organizers of TEDxAsheville asked me to tell my story,

  • and what has happened since my talk, I wasn't sure.

  • Early on, after my talk went viral,

  • many different people and groups were contacting me.

  • And one thing that I wasn't interested in was acting,

  • or talking about myself.

  • The main thing was that I really just wanted

  • to keep spreading my message about food and farming.

  • So, when I was contacted by

  • the Nevada County grown and Sustainable Food And Farm Conference

  • to speak there at the end of January of this year, I said "Yes".

  • I was fortunate enough to speak alongside other food activists and farmers,

  • like Dr. Will Winter, Aaron Lucich, Mark McAfee,

  • and the most truly humbling part was that I got to introduce my hero,

  • and the Keynote speaker, Joel Salatin.

  • All great people and great speakers on the subject of food and farming.

  • It was a wonderful experience that I'm so thankful for

  • and an opportunity for me to spread my message

  • of something that I care so much about.

  • And not only did I get to speak, but I also got to meet,

  • and really talk with these other inspirational advocates,

  • for a more sane food system.

  • Corbin Billings, with the documentary film "Bite Size"

  • about childhood obesity, interviewed me and Joel Salatin too,

  • about what's going on with our food system.

  • Meredith McKissick, with the Organic Growers School,

  • invited me to come speak at the Ignite-Agriculture event.

  • I was even lucky enough to get a scholarship

  • to the Organic Growers School Spring event.

  • I love any reason to visit Ashville.

  • And -- (Laughter)

  • And I was very excited to speak at Ignite.

  • In April, I traveled to Rome, Italy,

  • where I would be filmed on IL Senso Della Vita.

  • When translated, means "The meaning of life."

  • I could not believe it, Rome, Italy,

  • the home of the Slow Food Organization.

  • (Laughter)

  • I can't pronounce in Italian what they call me,

  • but when translated, it means "The little organic farmer."

  • (Laughter)

  • While in Rome, I also spoke at John Cabot University

  • which is an American University in Rome.

  • I really enjoyed speaking to the college students,

  • and I also did a question and answer session, too.

  • During my Italian adventure, I stayed and worked on an organic farm.

  • I learned how to prune olive trees,

  • and even helped build a chicken tractor.

  • Next, I was asked to be filmed for another documentary film.

  • My Grand Dad and I met the film crew in Santa Barbara, California.

  • I think it was pretty neat being filmed on the West Coast.

  • After that, I was fortunate enough

  • to speak at the TEDxKnoxville kickoff party.

  • An event to promote the first ever TEDx event

  • in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • I think it's such a great thing to see TEDx

  • popping up in different cities, like Knoxville.

  • I've also spoken at local Sertoma and Kiwanis clubs in the Knoxville area.

  • Over the summer, I've helped one of my grand dad's neighbor,

  • who has a small market garden.

  • I helped him plant, harvest, and I even got up really early

  • and went to one of the local markets.

  • And after all that work, I still want to be a farmer.

  • (Laughter)

  • In September, I spoke at the TEDxRedmond event

  • with a bunch of other kids my age and older,

  • who have a passion for something that they really care about.

  • And the main thing that I took away from that event

  • is how you shouldn't wait to speak your mind.

  • And one of the things I said in my TEDx talk,

  • is how I want to be an organic farmer when I grow up,

  • but I'm learning that I can be one right now.

  • (Applause)

  • I've learned that I'm making a difference,

  • just by spreading my ideas.

  • And one of the things that I think made my TEDx talk go viral,

  • was because it was coming from a kid.

  • Adults like John Robbins,

  • who I met at the Bonfire Heights event that I spoke at in September,

  • have been saying this stuff since the 60's and 70's.

  • Even more, was that I came onto this knowledge

  • just by being curious and asking questions,

  • questions my parents couldn't even answer.

  • It was the power of my idea

  • of what was being fed to us on TV,

  • in flashy packages and fancy boxes,

  • and even plastic toys through the drive-through,

  • wasn't the whole truth.

  • It was me, putting myself out there,

  • nervous and excited to tell what I feel is the truth.

  • I have to say,

  • it made me mad when folks started commenting on YouTube

  • about how someone told me to say these things about the food system,

  • or even about how GMOs aren't bad for us.

  • But I have to admit, although we don't agree,

  • at least it has people thinking about the food system.

  • For me, spreading my message for healthier eating and living is about -

  • taking care of the animals and the soil that we treat,

  • and in turn, treating ourselves right.

  • I can't tell you because TEDx has been a huge platform for me.

  • It has helped me spread my message and my ideas,

  • to make a more sustainable food system.

  • My talk has inspired people

  • to go to local farmer's markets,

  • and even start their own gardens.

  • And I can't tell you how thankful I am,

  • to have been given the opportunity, and the platform,

  • to speak about something that I'm so passionate about.

  • To make a difference with words and knowledge.

  • To fight against things such as GMOs,

  • the massive use of agrochemicals,

  • and what I feel are greedy food monopolies.

  • (Applause)

  • I want to encourage you to give it a try.

  • Apply to a TEDx event, because until you do,

  • you'll never really know what the power of an idea worth spreading is.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Hello, my name is Birke Baehr, and I'm 12 years old.

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【TEDx】TEDxAsheville - Birke Baehr - What it means to speak at TEDx

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    侯孟華 posted on 2015/01/05
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