Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Sophia Skelly

Upper Midwest Hub Coordinator

Sophia grew up in Houston and loved how scrappy and eccentric it is. She currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated in 2019 from Colorado College with a degree in Political Science. She seeks to work with organizations that are place-based, interdisciplinary and focused on scalable solutions to society’s challenges. Before becoming the Upper Midwest Hub Coordinator in the Crop Stewardship program, Sophia was a Technician in Crop Stewardship and a Research Resident in both Ecosphere Studies and Crop Stewardship.


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 perpetually bruised knees.

Support the work of Sophia and others at The Land Institute with a donation.


Share On: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Select other ways to share