October 31, 2018
By Tom Davidson
Julius Tillery is the North Carolina State Coordinator for the Black Family Land Trust and a fifth-generation farmer who helps other farmers in rural communities succeed in their businesses. He is a valued resource, advocate and supporter of local farmers, and he practices what he preaches on his family farm while also running a successful and unique online business, where he is Founder of Black Cotton. He is also an inspiring mentor and leader in natural resources. Julius is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a B.A. in Economics. In addition to his work as a Conservationist, Julius serves on a number of Boards and Councils in his community and for his profession. One of his messages in this episode is that conservation decisions can be good for businesses! Find out more about Julius, the work he does and his tips for others on today’s episode!
[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.
[1:40] A quick intro to Julius’s background.
[4:00] How did Julius get into conservation and natural resources?
[6:20] Julius decided to go back to school to further his college education, but after a brief stint, he felt it was better to get ‘on the ground’ experience instead.
[9:15] Are there a lot of Millennials interested in agricultural work?
[14:55] When Julius got his first job, he was 23 years old. But he was very knowledgeable in his field, because he’s been working on the farm since he was 16.
[16:25] What kind of farming did Julius grow up doing?
[19:35] What kind of partnerships has Julius developed over the years?
[21:20] Julius remembers a time where ‘conservation’ and ‘environmentalism’ were bad words for a business.
[23:50] What is Julius most proud of in his career?
[25:45] Why are some minorities hesitant to go into natural resources as a career?
[31:25] What is Julius’s business, Black Cotton, all about?
[36:15] Despite Julius’s county being the number two cotton producer in his state, his county is still one of the poorest in the country. How is this possible when you have such a big asset?
[37:00] Cotton farmers get pennies on the dollar from cotton, but through local efforts, that can be changed.
[41:00] Look at what’s going on in the world, and then ask yourself where you see yourself in it that will make an impact.
[45:25] What do young professionals need to know about conservation and agriculture?
[51:05] How important has social media been for Julius and Black Cotton business?
Mentioned in This Episode:
Julius’ Black Cotton Website: www.Blackcotton.us
Julius on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julius-tillery-1a5b3821/
Julius on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CH_illMo
Julius on Instagram: instagram page (@blackcotton.us)
Black Family Land Trust: http://www.bflt.org
Julius, his Father and Grandfather on their Family Farm