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.

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

  —Mahatma Gandhi

Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm

                                                                                                Image credit: Andy Sherar, Mustang News 

*Student Manager Position is CLOSED*

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 who have worked together at the SEF to develop numerous pioneering and innovative projects in sustainable agriculture. We are excited to continue to foster the unique Learn by Doing opportunities at the SEF and begin a new phase of activity that builds upon the incredible work of past and present doers and leaders. This new phase of activity will be overseen by the Agricultural Operations Department (Ag Ops) and the Center for Sustainability (CFS) within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). 

In January 2020, a new faculty advisory committee was formed, comprising the individuals listed below. This group will meet monthly to discuss overall strategy for the SEF, and specific issues as they arise. They will help to advise a management team involved in day-to-day operations at the SEF. Kevin Piper, director of Ag Ops, along with Hunter Francis and Claire Balint, CFS directors, have agreed to act as facilitators in charge of overseeing a student farm manager position. A new manager, Robin Pearson (NRES), has now been hired and will begin work in spring term 2020. Robin 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. She will serve as a primary liaison between students and faculty using the site and the faculty advisory group. The manager will also be responsible for helping develop SEF rules and procedures. 

Advisors and managers in this new organizational structure are interested in working closely with students and faculty involved in current and future projects to ensure smooth growth and continued success of the SEF.

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

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all participants - past, present and future - who’ve given of their time and energy for the benefit of Cal Poly and the community. 
More to come, stay tuned!


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