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Experience hands-on learning

The College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences is proud of our hands-on approach to prepare students in agriculture, food systems, natural resources and life sciences who are equipped to address the diverse needs of society. 

Learn by Doing is the bedrock of a Cal Poly education.  Here, from day one, you will begin to apply what you learn in the classroom to practical situations.  As you do, you will develop the leadership, social and community service skills that will make you successful in your careers and your communities. 

With  3,900 students from agriculture and urban backgrounds, 16 unique majors and numerous minors and master’s programs, Cal Poly is one of the nation’s most diverse and reputable agriculture programs.

Students are immersed in:

• Labs, product development, senior projects, industry internships, competitive teams, and applied research that give our graduates the edge to succeed in the real world. 

• Small class sizes, student-centered faculty and a wide variety of hands-on educational opportunities and student enterprise projects

• More than 40 competitive student clubs and societies

• Opportunities for over $1 million in scholarships awarded annually

• 10,000 acres for hands-on learning and applied research on campus and at our Swanton Pacific Ranch living laboratory

Our facilities feature:

•  6,000 acres of land adjacent to our San Luis Obispo campus core

•  Specialized biotechnology and computer labs

•  Rangeland for grazing and natural resources research

•  Cultivated parcels contain orchards, vineyards, fruit and nut crops, vegetable production, field crops, agroforestry, greenhouses, and arboretum

•  Modern plants for meat processing, animal food processing, dairy foods processing, eggs and poultry processing, wine production

•  Stockyards for horses, beef and dairy cattle, swine and sheep

•  3,200-acre Swanton Pacific Ranch in Santa Cruz County where students study and research on a working ranch