College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Catalog Home

Agricultural Sciences Bldg. (11), Room 211

Phone: 805.756.2161

https://cafes.calpoly.edu


Dean: Andrew J. Thulin
Associate Dean: Catherine Kleier
Associate Dean: Bill Hendricks
Assistant Dean: James Prince

Academic Programs

Program name Program type
Agribusiness Minor
Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences BS
Agricultural Business BS
Agricultural Communication BS, Minor
Agricultural Education MAgEd, Minor
Agricultural Leadership Minor
Agricultural Science BS
Agricultural Systems Management BS
Agriculture MS
Animal Science BS
BioResource and Agricultural Engineering BS
Crop Science Minor
Dairy Industries Minor
Dairy Science BS
Environmental Earth and Soil Sciences BS
Environmental Management and Protection BS
Environmental Sciences and Management MS
Environmental Soil Science Minor
Equine Science Minor
Event Planning and Experience Management Minor
Food Science BS, Minor, MS
Forest and Fire Sciences BS
Fruit Science Minor
Geographic Information Systems for Agriculture Minor
Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources and the Environment Minor
Land Rehabilitation and Restoration Ecology Minor
Landscape Horticulture Minor
Meat Science and Processing Minor
Military Science Minor
Nutrition BS, Minor, MS
Plant Protection Minor
Poultry Management Minor
Rangeland Resources Minor
Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration BS
Sustainable Agriculture Minor
Water Engineering Specialization MS
Water Science Minor
Wine and Viticulture BS

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) offers programs reflecting the growing diversity of choices available and skills required in modern agriculture, food, life and environmental sciences, and related professions.

Mission Statement

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences fosters teaching, scholarship and service in a Learn by Doing environment where students, faculty and staff are partners in discovery.

Learning Outcomes

All students who complete a program in CAFES should be able to:

  • Demonstrate expertise in and the use of technology in their respective discipline.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Make choices based on an understanding of personal and professional ethics and respect for diversity of people and ideas.
  • Recognize leadership principles and skills.
  • Evaluate and solve problems using critical thinking.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for sustainability and global perspectives.

Student Life

Students take courses in their major field beginning with their first quarter of enrollment. This early exposure to their major provides them with specific knowledge to supplement that gained in other coursework in basic sciences, mathematics and the liberal arts. Moreover, it allows students to evaluate whether or not the curriculum selected is appropriate to their interests and abilities. Taking courses in the major throughout the academic program fosters personal contact with faculty and other students having common interests but varied backgrounds.

The students’ early involvement in their major field, combined with the faculty’s close contacts with schools, private industry, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations provide excellent opportunities for student internships during their junior or senior years. Other opportunities which enhance education, provide financial assistance, and help prepare students for the job market include enterprise projects, scholarships, study abroad, and work-study jobs.

CAFES faculty are experts in their disciplines, and are dedicated to teaching. They are eager to help students learn, are readily available for consultation and are proud of their close relationship with students.

College Advising

Academic Advising is provided to all students through the CAFES Advising Center and their major department in the college. This includes: Professional Academic Advisors, Faculty Advisors, and Peer Advisors. Academic Advising is designed to help students reach their educational and career goals; it is a shared task between an advisor and a student.  Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors quarterly to plan their schedule, review curriculum information, discuss career opportunities, and receive information on internships, enterprise projects and cooperative learning. The CAFES Advising Center provides guidance on university and college policies and procedures including course transfers, substitutions and other general information.

Peer Academic Mentoring

The Multicultural Agriculture Program (MAP) is available to provide academic and personal support to undergraduate students of all cultural backgrounds in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences with a peer-based structure that cultivates student achievement and a sense of community.

College Clubs and Organizations

Student clubs are active in every department. The College's 52 clubs, many of which are affiliated with national professional organizations, provide an excellent forum for student and faculty interactions. Active club members may practice leadership skills, and attend national, state and local professional meetings, as well as participate in a variety of professional and social events.

Agricultural Lands and Outdoor Laboratories

Nearly 6,000 acres of on-campus agricultural production, processing and research land and facilities are available for student use at Cal Poly. These facilities provide students with unique opportunities for hands-on experiences which augment classroom instruction.

The campus farm includes a dairy, beef center, horse, sheep, swine and poultry units, horse training and show arenas, an animal nutrition center, meat processing center, veterinary clinic and rodeo facilities. Also available are irrigated and dryland fields for annual crops, orchards and vineyards, an irrigation demonstration field, erosion research facility, large-scale composting operation, hoop houses, arboretum, wholesale and retail nurseries, a wine lab, and greenhouses. Eleven acres of certified organic farmland support our organic farming program.

Other Labs and Special Facilities

Special facilities include several microcomputer laboratories, laboratories with modern equipment for soil- plant-water testing, engineering testing and manufacturing shops, complete food processing units for dairy products, meats, fruit and vegetables, and four biotechnology and embryology laboratories.

Santa Cruz County Properties

The 3,200 acre Swanton Pacific Ranch in Santa Cruz County was generously donated by Al Smith, alumnus of Cal Poly's former Crop Science Department. This property provides students with an opportunity to live and work on a commercial farm with forestry, watershed management, cattle and organic crop production activities. The lands also support a wide range of research topics for undergraduate and graduate students.

Enterprise Projects/Experiential Learning

Cal Poly students have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in business enterprises or through work experience on campus.  These experiences serve to strengthen students’ academic studies, while at the same time providing the knowledge and skills that lead to a better understanding and appreciation for important production, managerial and marketing challenges employees face in the workplace. Students participating in enterprise projects earn units that are reflected on their Cal Poly transcript.

Enterprise projects are available in various departments in the college.  In some projects, profits form enterprises will be shared among participating students, with a percentage also going to the department coordinating the activity. If an enterprise loses money, the department conducting the project absorbs the loss.  This financial, risk-free opportunity provides students with great learning opportunities.

Research Programs

The college sponsors a 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) to provide students the opportunity to experience undergraduate research projects on topics related to their programs or in which they have interest.  Students work closely with faculty research leads and receive a stipend. The program is open to all undergraduate students in the college.

Courses

The courses offered in each undergraduate curriculum may be grouped into four areas:

Major

The major courses include a required cluster of courses in which the student expects to graduate. These courses constitute the core of specific preparation for the student’s major field.

General Education

Courses are selected from the physical and life sciences, mathematics, communications, arts and humanities, and social, political, and economic institutions. These courses furnish the student with background and support for their academic program as well as providing cultural background for the students’ intelligent participation in a complex world society.

Support

The support courses draw from courses in agriculture, life sciences, and closely allied fields which support and supplement the block of courses constituting the student’s major.

Free Electives

Course selection from electives is designed to provide freedom for students to pursue interests of their choosing in any university department.

Recommended Preparation

In addition to pursuing the CSU mandated and Cal Poly recommended entrance requirements, high school and community college students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities as part of their preparation for admission to majors in Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. These activities could include, but are not limited to, FFA, 4-H, leadership roles in school clubs, meaningful work experience and community organizations.

How to Read Course Descriptions

AG Courses

AG 200. Special Problems for Undergraduates. 1-2 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of rodeo coach/instructor.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter. Credit can only be used to satisfy free electives. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 210. Agricultural Leadership Experience. 1 unit

Participation in activities that promote personal growth and leadership development, including team work, cooperation, communication, problem solving, time management, and organization. Support CAFES in recruitment, public awareness, educational programs, campus tours, fundraising, and youth career development events. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 2 units. 1 activity.

AG 212. Leadership Practice: Poly Royal Rodeo. 3 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

Application of the management and operations of the Poly Royal Rodeo event taking place during Open House at Cal Poly. Principles and procedures in planning, organizing, financing, promoting, and managing a major collegiate rodeo and the rodeo industry are discussed. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 lecture, 2 activities.

AG 243. Theory and Practice of Rodeo. 2 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of rodeo coach/instructor.

Beginning through advanced skills in the event areas of college rodeo. Areas include saddle bronc, bareback, and bull riding; calf, team, and breakaway roping; steer wrestling, goat tying, and barrel racing. Minimum of 10 hours of laboratory per week. Total credit limited to 8 units. Credit/No Credit grading. Enrollment limited to those qualified to compete in intercollegiate rodeo.

AG 315. Principles of Organic Crop Production. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area B

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area B5, B6, or B7

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; and completion of GE Areas B1 through B4, with a grade of C- or better in one course in GE Area B4 (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

Origins, application, regulation and technology of organic crop production. Theoretical and practical issues surrounding organic crop production from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Topics include the history of the organic movement; current regulation and certification; and field management practices and technologies. Features industry guest lecturers. Field trip required. 3 lectures, 1 activity. Crosslisted as AEPS/AG 315. Fulfills GE Area Upper-Division B (GE Areas B5, B6, or B7 for students on the 2019-20 catalog).

AG 330. Cal Poly Land: Nature, Technology, and Society. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area B

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area B5, B6, or B7

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course from GE Area B1 (GE Area B4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); one course from GE Area B2; and one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

Scientific investigation of the natural features of the Cal Poly landscape and their transformations by land management technology. Environmental, economic, social, and political effects of agriculture, resource extraction, construction technology. Educational, land-use, long term planning issues. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as AG/ISLA/SCM/UNIV 330. Fulfills GE Area Upper-Division B (GE Areas B5, B6, or B7 for students on the 2019-20 catalog).

AG 339. Internship in Agriculture. 1-12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Selected students will spend up to 12 weeks with an approved agricultural firm engaged in production or related business. Time will be spent applying and developing production and managerial skills and abilities. One unit of credit may be allowed for each full week of completed and reported internship. Credit/No Credit grading.

AG 350. The Global Environment. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area B

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area B5, B6, or B7

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; and completion of GE Areas B1 through B4, with a grade of C- or better in one course in GE Area B4 (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

Interdisciplinary investigation of how human activities impact the Earth's environment on a global scale. Examination of population, resource use, climate change, and biodiversity from scientific/technical and social/economic/ historical/political perspectives. Use of remote sensing maps. Sustainable solutions. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as AG/EDES/ENGR/GEOG/ISLA/SCM/UNIV 350. Fulfills GE Area Upper-Division B (GE Areas B5, B6, or B7 for students on the 2019-20 catalog).

AG 360. Holistic Management. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area B

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area B5, B6, or B7

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; and completion of GE Areas B1 through B4, with a grade of C- or better in one course in GE Area B4 (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

Application of holistic management, a goal-oriented, value-driven framework for making decisions that are ecologically, economically, and socially sound. Impact of technology and other tools on ecosystem processes. Holistic approach to management, especially of land-based resources, aimed toward greater biodiversity and sustainability. Not open to students with credit in AG 450. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as AG/ASCI 360. Fulfills GE Area Upper-Division B (GE Areas B5, B6, or B7 for students on the 2019-20 catalog).

AG 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-2 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of rodeo coach/instructor.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 410. Advanced Agricultural Leadership Experience. 1 unit

Prerequisite: AG 210.

Activities that promote personal growth and development from a leadership perspective. Special attention on recruiting, organizing, and engaging volunteers. Teambuilding, cooperation, communication, problem solving, time management, and organization skills are emphasized. Guiding students in serving others in major student activities. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 2 units. 1 activity.

AG 412. Advanced Leadership Practice: Poly Royal Rodeo. 3 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Management and oversight of Poly Royal Rodeo during Cal Poly Open House. Proficiency in problem-solving as leaders and as a team. Discuss principles and procedures in planning, organizing, financing, promoting, and managing a major collegiate rodeo and the rodeo industry. Field trip may be required. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 lecture, 2 activities.

AG 413. Committee Management: Poly Royal Rodeo. 2 units

Prerequisite: AG 412.

Continuation of AG 412. Oversight of volunteers, committee members and interacting with event attendees. Emphasis on leadership, problem solving and building a new management team. Annual evaluation of events and planning for future events while successfully mentoring new students. Field trip may be required. 1 lecture, 1 activity.

AG 450. Applied Holistic Management. 4 units

Prerequisite: One GE Area B2 course and junior standing.

Application of holistic management, a goal-oriented, value-driven framework for making decisions that are ecologically, economically, and socially sound. Impact of technology and other tools on ecosystem processes. Holistic approach to management, especially of land-based resources, aimed toward greater biodiversity and sustainability. Not open to students with credit in AG/ASCI 360. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

AG 452. Issues Affecting California Agriculture. 4 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Interactive seminars with speakers from government and industry covering policy and regulations affecting California agriculture. Students develop an understanding of agricultural policy and work in teams to develop a public presentation and position paper on a significant issue. Field trip to Sacramento required. 4 seminars.

AG 485. Cooperative Education Experience. 6 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and consent of instructor.

Part-time work experience in business, industry, government, and other areas of student career interest. Positions are paid and usually require relocation and registration in course for two consecutive quarters. Formal report and evaluation by work supervisor required. No major credit allowed; total credit limited to 12 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 495. Cooperative Education Experience. 12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and consent of instructor.

Full-time work experience in business, industry, government, and other areas of student career interest. Positions are paid and usually require relocation and registration in course for two consecutive quarters. Formal report and evaluation by work supervisor required. No major credit allowed; total credit limited to 24 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 500. Individual Study. 1-6 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head, graduate advisor and supervising faculty member.

Advanced independent study planned and completed under the direction of a member of the college faculty. Total credit limited to 6 units.

AG 539. Graduate Internship in Agriculture. 1-9 units

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Application of theory to the solution of problems of agricultural production or related businesses in the field. Analyze specific management problems and perform general management assignments detailed in a contract between the student, the firm or organization, and the faculty advisor before the internship commences. Degree credit limited to 6 units.

AG 581. Graduate Seminar. 1 unit

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Advanced topics in agriculture and natural resources. Group study of current research and industry trends. Invited speakers covering a variety of topics. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 hour seminar.

AG 585. Cooperative Education Experience. 6 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Advanced study analysis and part-time work experience in student's career field; current innovations, practices, and problems in administration, supervision, and organization of business, industry, and government. Must have demonstrated ability to do independent work and research in career field. Total credit limited to 9 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 595. Cooperative Education Experience. 12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Advanced study analysis and full-time work experience in student's career field; current innovations, practices, and problems in administration, supervision, and organization of business, industry, and government. Must have demonstrated ability to do independent work and research in career field. Total credit limited to 9 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 598. Reading and Conference. 1-12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and instructor consent.

Systematic development of an agricultural thesis research project including literature searches, reports and experimental design. Repeatable for up to 12 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AG 599. Thesis. 1-9 units

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Systematic research of a significant problem. Thesis will include problem identification, significance, methods, data analysis, and conclusion. Students must enroll every quarter in which facilities are used or advisement is received. Degree credit limited to 6 units.