Support Swanton Pacific Ranch

Our Products

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

Check out our Freedom Ranger Chicken products...

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

Rangeland Projects

Projects and Research

Monitoring Residual Dry Matter on Coastal Grasslands

Every October, students in the Rangeland Resources program at Cal Poly spend a weekend at SPR to collect samples of "Residual Dry Matter" ("RDM", dead annual grass and litter) from all the grazed pastures. The purpose of RDM monitoring is to evaluate the severity of grazing use in the previous season. When too little plant residue is left behind, it can result in poorer annual grass germination and biomass production in the following year, increase soil erosion, and provide opportunities for weeds to move in. Our goal is to manage for at least 700 lbs of RDM to be left behind at the time the fall rains (usually) return. On slopes steeper than 25%, we want to leave over 800 lbs/acre behind.

Contact: Dr. Marc Horney -

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

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

Find us on Facebook

See All News