Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Sophia Skelly

Research Resident

Sophia grew up in Houston and loved how scrappy and eccentric it is. She currently lives in Colorado is still trying to figure out what to call home. She graduated in 2019 from Colorado College with a degree in Political Science. Sophia interned at the Intervale Center in Burlington, Vermont, and that experience framed her approach to agriculture-focused work. She seeks to work with organizations that are community-oriented, farmer-focused, and scalable. Sophia is a research resident with both commercialization and Ecosphere Studies.


What would people never guess that you do as part of your role at TLI?
Perhaps unsurprising, but today I sat in a park and called 30 natural food stores to chat with buyers about Kernza®.

What drew you to work at TLI?
I was attracted to the interdisciplinary approach to scientific research at TLI. Many organizations I have come across do not focus on the social and cultural embeddedness of our current agriculture system. I am also really excited to create an alternate version of agriculture in this country, rather than fight against the existing, dominant model.

What else are you passionate about (outside of work)?
Femme and nonbinary representation in high-risk sports! I love to skateboard, surf, and mountain bike. All of these activities are very male-dominated and I think it creates the misconception that there’s something intrinsic about gender, sports, and talent. But that’s not true! It’s a matter of culture, community, and belonging (like in so many other historically exclusionary spaces).

What were you like at age 10?
Smelly soccer girl with perennially bruised knees.


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