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grass-fed beef Check out our Grass-fed Beef products and their benefits...

apples 16 distinct U-Pick Apple varieties...

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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

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

Mission & History

Natural Resources

natural resources

Ranch Maps

maps

Surrounding Areas

sunset

Related Content

Learning

INTERNSHIPS
Gain Hands-on skills


FIELD TRIPS
A living laboratory


WORKSHOPS & TRAINING
Open to the public


PROJECTS & RESEARCH
Applied learning

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Support SPR

Al Smith mission support the ranch

How You Can Help

Operations

  • forestry

    FORESTRY

    Advanced timber management skills.

  • livestock

    LIVESTOCK

    Learn range and livestock management.

  • crops

    CROPS

    Gain experience in organic crop production

Learn More

SPR Products

Grass-fed Beef

upick

Our Products

News & Events

U-Pick is now Closed...
Posted Oct 25, 2017


Volunteer Days...
Volunteer Days posted for 2018- save the dates!

 


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