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

Field Trips & Short Courses

Education - Field Trips and Short Courses

Short Courses

We're honored to welcome experts from various professions who see Swanton Valley as a great location to host short courses, workshops and field demonstrations. Courses include Fluvial Geomorphology offered by Wildland Hydrology's David Rosgen, Salmonid Restoration Foundation field tours, "Coho Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Projects on Santa Cruz County's North Coast," and an on-site horse facility waste water management design demonstration site. We encourage interested professionals to contact us with new ideas for field-based learning and skills training. 

Cal Poly courses such as Sustainable Forestry & Environmental PracticesSustainable Rangeland & Livestock Management and Field Vertebrate Zoology: Field Techniques in Wildlife Ecology are also offered.

Field Trips

Swanton Pacific Ranch welcomes hands-on learning. As an integral component to the ranch's living and learning laboratory, we work hard to provide opportunities for learning and discovery. Instructors are encouraged to utilize the ranch to its fullest educational extent. Recognized for its high biodiversity, the Swanton Valley represents approximately 20% of California's native botanicals, rare and endangered species, conserved lands and sustainably managed resource use across a mosaic landscape.

Over 500 students, from equally diverse backgrounds, find new ground to grow and explore as they engage in guided learning, lecture and field-based activities. A wide range of disciplines have benefited from field trips to the Swanton Valley including Hydrology, Forestry, Restoration, Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Science, Environmental Geology, Watershed Management, Botany, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Art. We invite interest from new participants. Please contact us with your course interests and to schedule your use of this wonderful facility.

Related Content


Gain Hands-on skills

A living laboratory

Open to the public

Applied learning

Apply Now

Support SPR

Al Smith mission support the ranch

How You Can Help


  • forestry


    Advanced timber management skills.

  • livestock


    Learn range and livestock management.

  • crops


    Gain experience in organic crop production

Learn More

SPR Products

Grass-fed Beef


Our Products

News & Events

Cal Poly's Swanton Pacific Day
September 22, 10:00 - 3:30 pm
Tickets now available.

Scotts Creek Watershed Research Symposium
September 11, 2018
Registration now open.

Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard...
Opens Labor Day weekend.
Posted Oct 25, 2017

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


Find us on Facebook

See All News