Center for Sustainability

Center for Sustainability

Agriculture for Tomorrow

A College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Program

Cal Poly landscape

Stewards of Tomorrow

Preparing leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and operations.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

  —John Muir

Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm

                                                                                                Image credit: Andy Sherar, Mustang News 

*Student Manager Position is OPEN*: Download the job description HERE

Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm

For over three decades, thousands of students and community members have partaken in an incredible array of educational activities at the Student Experimental Farm (SEF). This is been made possible by the dedication of generations of student, staff and faculty leaders. Recently, there has been increased interest and activity at the Student Experimental Farm (SEF). Growing student participation there, along with new interest among faculty members, led to a new management structure in the fall of 2019.

In January 2020, a new faculty advisory committee was formed, listed below. This group meets monthly to discuss overall strategy for the SEF, and specific issues as they arise. They help to advise a management team involved in day-to-day operations at the SEF. Kevin Piper, director of Ag Operations, along with Hunter Francis and Claire Balint, Center for Sustainability directors, serve as management team facilitators in charge of overseeing a new student farm manager position. A new farm manager starting in spring 2020 will work with facilitators to develop action plans for the improvement and management of the SEF and will assist in coordinating and facilitating class, club and other student activities. The student manager will serve as a primary liaison between students and faculty using the site and the faculty advisory group. A job description and application instructions can be found HERE.

Advisors and managers in this new organizational structure are interested in working closely with current students and faculty involved in SEF projects. As a way to foster communication and collaboration, we will hold quarterly gatherings - informal “community circles” - to provide an opportunity to socialize, share ideas and develop plans for the SEF. Our first community circle gathering is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 from 10-12 noon. All are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be made available, potluck is optional, and the group may break out into varied work day activities, depending on group interest. Bring your ideas and a friend! 

SEF Advisory Committee
Nick Babin (NRES)
Claire Balint (CFS)
G.W. Bates (BRAE)
Hunter Francis (CFS)
Kevin Piper (Ag Ops)
Ben Swan (AGED)

In recent years, Drs. Pete Schwartz and Greg Schwartz were instrumental in keeping activities at the SEF alive and running smoothly. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to them - and to all participants, past, present and future, who’ve given of their time and energy for collective benefit! 
To read Dr. Pete Schwartz's Narrative About the Farm summarizing the history of the SEF,
please CLICK HERE.

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