Ranch Resources

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SPR Products

Natural Beef

Grass-Fed Beef

Check out what's available…


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

Ranch Events

News & Events

Cal Poly Day & Al Smith Day

Al Smith Day typically takes place during the end of April or beginning of May. Al Smith Day highlights the Swanton Pacific Railroad while giving attendees a glimpse of ranch operations and educational opportunities. Train rides, a ranch barbeque, live music, and the chance to visit the Swanton Pacific Ranch makes Al Smith Day a fun event for all. The Railroad Society takes care of registration for this event.

Cal Poly Day is usually the last Sunday in September. Please join us for the annual train rides, barbecue and choice of other activities put on by the railroad and ranch. Those attending will be brought up to date on what has been taking place at Swanton by both the railroad and the ranch. The annual event is held at the beautiful Swanton Pacific Ranch in Davenport, CA. The Railroad Society takes care of registration for this event.

These two yearly events are used to showcase activities at the ranch, and include barbeque, train rides and roping demonstrations. The Cal Poly Logging Team often joins in the fun with axe throwing and cross-cut demonstrations. Swanton equipment as well as t-shirts, hats, etc., are also on display. Plan on joining us this year.

* Please pre-register for events - contact the Railroad Society to register. Thank you!

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Products and Produce Availability

U-Pick Apples

Please note: the Apple Orchard is located across the street from the Old School House at 480 Swanton Road (this is a few miles north of our 125 Swanton Road address).

The Organic Apple Orchard is open seasonally to the public, Cal Poly alumni, and grade-school groups.

Certified annually by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and yielding five tons of apples per year, the ranch's 2-acre orchard produces a diverse array of apples for many uses. The 16 distinct varieties ripen progressively throughout the fall allowing for an extended picking season. Grade-school groups are encouraged to arrange visits to the U-Pick where children receive an overview of ecological processes in organic farming before they set out to collect apples.

Natural Grass-fed Beef

Grass-fed CowsGrass-fed beef is fed just that, grass. Grass-fed beef differs slightly in look, texture, smell, and taste; but to many, it tastes better. Grass-fed beef has less than 10% saturated fat, is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, high in conjugated Linoleic Acid, high in vitamin A and E, and high in Beta Carotene.

The Cal Poly Swanton Pacific Ranch Grass-fed Beef Enterprise in conjunction with Cal Poly Meats sells 30 lb pre-packaged boxes of grass-fed beef. If you have questions please call Cal Poly Meats at 805.756.2114, or visit us on the web.

Ranch News

Today is Thursday - Aug 27, 2015

Apple Picking News

Posted Sunday - Aug 23, 2015

U-Pick Apple Orchard opens early September. Stay tuned for opening date...

See: spranch.calpoly.edu/upick.ldml

Opportunity at Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch

Posted Wednesday - Aug 12, 2015

Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch is recruiting undergraduates to help develop a summer science camp for underrepresented and resource-limited high school age students. Titled “A Watershed Moment: Training the Proper Water Stewards of Tomorrow,” the summer camp will provide high school students with intensive, hands-on experiences in appropriate watershed management.

The multidisciplinary team will develop scientific and technologically based teaching modules in Outdoor Recreation, Watershed Management, Hydrology, Forestry, Rangeland Management, Irrigation Technology, Organic Agriculture, Food Science and Nutrition, and Freshwater Ecology.

We are looking for student representation from RPTA, FSN, Forestry, ENVM, Crop Science, BRAE, and Animal Science during fall quarter 2015 with possible extension into winter quarter 2015. 

Compensation and benefits for student involvement includes:

·        Course Credit in RPTA 330, NR 479, or Ag 479.

·        Travel to and from Swanton Pacific Ranch near Santa Cruz, CA on designated work dates.

·        Housing and food stipend while at the ranch.

·        Opportunity to participate in summer internship at Swanton.

·        Networking opportunities with professionals from industry and state and federal organizations.

·        Opportunity to enhance professional development through hand-on experiences!

Project Commitment Requirements:

·        10 work hours a week.

·        2 overnight weekend visits to Swanton Pacific Ranch with the possibility of 1-2 more visits as necessary to complete project work.

·        Course Registration fees.

For more information on how to apply please contact Nick Macias at nimacias@calpoly.edu

Application Deadline: Monday, September 14th 2015.

Contact: Nick Macias
Email: nimacias@calpoly.edu

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