Ranch Resources

Support SPR

SPR Products

Natural Beef

Grass-Fed Beef

Check out our products and their benefits…

U-Pick Apples

U-Pick Apples

16 distinct varieties…

Facebook

To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

Click for Davenport, California Forecast

About The Ranch

Swanton Pacific Ranch is located in Santa Cruz County at the northern reaches of California's Central Coast and the Monterey Bay. The 3,200 acre property is a landscape composed of a majestic redwood forest, lush riverine ecosystems and expansive coastal grassland overlooking the bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The Student Experience

  • Living and learning on a working ranch
  • Development of career skills
  • Exposure to current technologies
  • Working on diverse research projects

Ranch Overview

Recognized for its high biodiversity and abundant resources, this area provides a valuable opportunity to study the methods of resource conservation applied through sustainable management techniques. The ranch was donated to the College in 1993 by the late Al Smith. A Cal Poly graduate and founder of Orchard Supply Hardware, Al had specific goals, "...that Swanton Pacific Ranch be maintained as a working ranch and used exclusively for agriculture, recreational, educational purposes".

This educational and research facility is owned by the Cal Poly Corporation and managed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Faculty, graduate students and undergraduates actively pursue research opportunities, utilizing the forest, range, and watershed resources within the ranch. The ranch hosts a variety of functions some of which include the production of certified natural beef, "U-pick" certified organic apples, hosting of professional meetings and workshops, and courses offered by the Department of Natural Resource Management.

Swanton Pacific Ranch Management Plans

2004 General Management Plan
2011 Swanton Pacific Ranch Management Plan
2015 Swanton Pacific Ranch Management Plan