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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

Projects and Research

Projects and Research

Ongoing applied research is an important component of agricultural activities at Swanton Pacific Ranch which support the ranch mission and its Learn by Doing philosophy. These lands lie within the ecosystem of the Scotts Creek Watershed, described as a hot spot for evolutionary processes. These processes remain in balance through the careful management of and sustainable agriculture practices. Field based research projects support educational goals and serve to improve long-term land productivity and net profit.

Students have completed a broad array of research studies including more than 100 senior projects, graduate theses, and ranch-based internship projects. Many of research endeavors support on-going, long-term research projects in the disciplines of forestry, watershed management and rangeland studies. Here is a bibliographical database of past publications.

The ranch also provides cooperative support to research projects external to Cal Poly conducted on-site. These collaborative endeavors are based upon inter-university cooperation, federal and regional agency research, and industry based research and monitoring.

Cal Poly students and faculty are invited to propose research projects which will serve to support the objectives of the university and Swanton Pacific Ranch. We are currently seeking to expand research efforts in several areas including organic apple crops, soil science, and micro and macro scale biological research.

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News & Events

Apple Pruning Student 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.


Apple Pruning Community Volunteer Weekend January 25 - 27th

Learn how to prune apple trees in Swanton Pacific Ranch's Organic Apple Orchard. Led by expert Grant Williams with other pruning trainers, the group will work together to shape the trees.

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

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