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Natural Beef

Grass-Fed Beef

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U-Pick Apples

U-Pick Apples

16 distinct varieties…


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

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Project Goal: To foster healthy crop production with minimal cost and artificial inputs.

The philosophy behind the Crop Operation is to provide a variety crops and marketing opportunities to optimize student Learn by Doing. The long-term goal is to manage a crop operation that is self-sustaining, with crop income equaling expenses or potentially providing income. Producing a wide range of commodities and the practice of organic farming are locally valued sound business practices. These practices will be pursued to the fullest extent possible.

The ranch has met the requirements and is certified organic through the CCOF. This certification was pursued to improve crop marketability and to reflect of overall management directions of Swanton Pacific Ranch.

A U-Pick organic apple orchard is open seasonally inviting the public, Cal Poly alumni, and grade-school groups to experience Cal Poly's "living laboratory."

The ranch has partnered with Jacob's Farm/Del Cabo Inc. through an educational lease. Five crop fields are leased with perennial culinary herbs predominately grown. Students interested in crop production can gain practical and professional experience through crop focused internships.