Support Swanton Pacific Ranch

Our Products

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

apples 16 distinct U-Pick Apple varieties...

Find us on 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

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

Apply Now

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

Apple Pruning Volunteer Weekend January 25 - 27th

Students will be provided transportation, lodging, and meals during this fantastic opportunity to learn how to prune apple trees in Swanton Pacific Ranch's Organic Apple Orchard. Led by expert Grant Williams, the group will work together to shape the trees...and then go for an enjoyable and informative hike to see more of the Ranch.


Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard...
Closed for 2018 Season!
Posted Oct 17, 2018


Find us on Facebook


See All News