Creek Ranch is separated from Escuela and Walters Ranches by Highway
1. It is now utilized by both the Animal Science and Crop Science
Departments. The Animal Science Department uses this ranch to graze
purebred heifers both before and immediately after calving. The
cattle are grazed on native range and crop residue. The ranch is
also used to grow grapes for E&J Gallo Winery. Chorro Creek
Ranch is maintained by Cal Poly Farm Operations.
Creek Ranch was first utilized by Cal Poly around 1959 when Cal
Poly began leasing land to graze beef cattle for a new student enterprise
project. By 1961, the area of land had grown to 582 acres for which
Cal Poly paid the U.S. Army Corps $4,200 per year. In 1962, Cal
Poly invested money to level the bottomland of Chorro Creek and
began negotiations with the U.S. Army to pursue fencing and water
development on the leased land. After much negotiating, a distribution
system was developed in 1966 to deliver water to Chorro Creek Ranch
from Whale Rock Reservoir near Cayucos. This added water allowed
much more development of cropland and grazing land to further enhance
Cal Poly's outdoor learning philosophy. Although Cal Poly had invested
money to level Chorro Creek and develop a water system, they were
still leasing the land and did not own it. In 1964, Cal Poly assumed
ownership of this land, 582 acres, under a "transfer of control
and possession" from the California Men's Colony.
of Chorro Creek cropland in 1962
newly bought land was named Chorro Creek Ranch for Chorro Creek
which flows through it. This land was used for cropland for student
enterprises, and grazing land for the Foundation's Angus cattle
1968 many projects were completed to improve Chorro Creek Ranch.
These included and additional earthen reservoir and appurtenant
irrigation lines, a multi-purpose crops and machinery building and
a modern livestock corral.
1999, a state of the art commercial scale vineyard was established
on this ranch by E&J Gallo Winery as a real world laboratory
for teaching, learning, and applied research. The grapes are grown
at this location and then shipped to Sonoma County where they are
processed and made into wine. The Fruit Science Department often
utilizes this facility for field trips.
more information on the E&J
Gallo Winery, go to their web site.
College of Engineering in association with Mustang Flyers and SLO
Flyers, Inc. maintain an educational flying range at Chorro Creek
Ranch. For pictures and information on this project click here.