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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. In 2020, we embarked on a comprehensive needs assessment to better target expansion of facilities, new equipment, new education programs, and new research initiatives. 

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News & Events

Post Fire Updates
Blog posts with news about Ranch recovery

Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard...
CLOSED due to CZU Lightning Complex Fire devastation.
Posted September 4, 2020

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