Support Swanton Pacific Ranch

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

Giving to Swanton Pacific Ranch

giving back

Your generosity can help sponsor the growth and revisioning of Swanton Pacific Ranch and the future programs it offers students.

The CZU Lightning Complex fires swept through Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch in August 2020 destroying much of the ranch and its structures. Important structures, including the Al Smith House, Seaside School House, Red House, Archibald House, Staub House and yurts, Cal Barn, Little Creek House, Car Barn, rail cars, Roundhouse and Car Shop were destroyed.

When alumnus Al Smith (Crop Science, ‘44, Agricultural Education, ‘56), credited founder of Orchard Supply Hardware, donated the Swanton Pacific Ranch to Cal Poly in 1993, he did so with one simple request: that it be preserved as a working ranch and living laboratory dedicated to Learn by Doing educational opportunities and that the remaining large redwoods be left untouched. Today, Swanton Pacific Ranch is a model for the practice of informed land stewardship and sustainability. We stand by that commitment.

We are working closely with both our Cal Poly family and our partners in the surrounding Santa Cruz community to rise up, rebuild and grow from the ashes.

You can support immediate relief efforts and future growth by donating to the Swanton Pacific Ranch Recovery Fund.


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How You Can Help

Swanton Research Resources on Digital Commons

For a link to the many resources held by Cal Poly's library on Digital Commons, click here.