Back to top

Swanton Pacific Ranch

Recognized for its high biodiversity and abundant resources, the Swanton Pacific Ranch provides a valuable opportunity to study the methods of resource conservation applied through sustainable management techniques.

This educational and research facility is owned by the Cal Poly Corporation and managed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Faculty, graduate students and undergraduates actively pursue research opportunities, utilizing the forest, range, and watershed resources within the ranch.

The ranch hosts a variety of functions some of which include the production of certified natural beef, "U-pick" certified organic apples, hosting of professional meetings and workshops, and courses offered by the Department of Natural Resource Management.

The ranch was donated to the College in 1993 by the late Al Smith. A Cal Poly graduate and founder of Orchard Supply Hardware, Al had specific goals,

“...that Swanton Pacific Ranch be maintained as a working ranch and used exclusively for agriculture, recreational, educational purposes”

2020 Internship Classes

Class Number Class Title Units Duration Delivery
AG S339 Internship in Agriculture 1 10 Weeks Canceled
NR S339 Internship in Forest & Natural Resources 1 10 Weeks Canceled
NR S474 & NR S475 Forest Stewardship Practices & Senior Project: Forest Stewardship 12 5 Weeks Online


All transportation during training hours will be provided.

Swanton Pacific Ranch overlooks the glistening Pacific Ocean, 12 miles north of Santa Cruz, near the small town of Davenport. The closest airports are San Jose International (SJC) and San Francisco International (SFO) airports; Oakland airport is also an option. Amtrak serves Santa Cruz via bus connection with the San Jose/Diridon Station. Two buses a day connect Santa Cruz with Davenport. Rental cars are available at air travel hubs as well as in Santa Cruz.


Swanton Ranch Housing Exterior Swanton Ranch Housing Interior


Housing and food will be provided. Participants will make their own breakfasts, and dinners and lunches will be catered; dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

Cell Phone Coverage

Cell phone coverage at the training venue is limited to spotty reception for Verizon only. Coverage is better a very short drive away, in Davenport. WiFi is available in public meeting spaces near sleeping accommodations and in meeting rooms. There are land lines available in Swanton Pacific Ranch’s facilities.

Regional Context

When class is not in session, participants can enjoy some of California’s most beautiful beaches, hikes in extensive local parks, or various tourist attractions, fine food and beverage, etc in Santa Cruz and Davenport.