Learn by doing

Aside from traditional classroom instruction, the College of Agriculture supports a "learn by doing" environment through sponsored student enterprise projects. Using the latest technology on the Cal Poly Pomona fields, facilities, and in the greenhouses, students have the opportunity to learn everything about food production from start to finish. All of the products from student enterprise projects eventually end up for sale in the Farm Store. A large part of the proceeds go back to the students to support their educational expenses and activities. Depending on the product, food can also be sold to distributors and local markets. Local food banks in the community have also benefitted from the abundance of food produced by the students. Here are some examples of student involvement.

Organic Farm produceLEARN to farm THE ORGANIC WAY

Eating organic is the current trend. Students Joanne O'Sullivan and Andrew Esterson have found the experience of organic farming to be both challenging and rewarding. They are growing a garden of organic produce like tomatoes, peas, beets, and a variety of lettuce. They even have chickens raised organically for their eggs.


Ghost peppers or bhut jolokia have the distinction of being one of the hottest peppers in the world. Students who work with them in the hydroponics greenhouse must handle with care. In addition to being hotter than a habanero, the ghost pepper is quite the hot item in the Farm Store. Customers enjoy the novelty and have been buying them right up. In fact, they sell out faster than they grow.

Broncowurst sausage team CREATE SAUSAGE WITH A KICK

Members of the Meat Club were challenged to come up with a sausage that included Cal Poly Pomona green and gold spirit. From left to right, Jeannie Knuchell, Sara Beth Dick and Brittany Ball present Broncowurst filled with parsley and yellow seeds which is sold at the Meat Lab and the Farm Store.

A plant science student picks zinfandel grapes LEARN HOW TO MAINTAIN OUR VINEYARD

Jonathan Allred, a Plant Science major, picks zinfandel grapes that he has helped grow at the Horsehill Vineyard at Cal Poly Pomona. The grapes eventually produce zinfandel rose and red zinfandel wine to be sold at the Farm Store and the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

Food Marketing & Agribusiness Management students work on a Horsehill wine display in the Farm Store CREATE MARKETING DISPLAY

Food Marketing & Agribusiness Management students work on a Horsehill wine display in the Farm Store. Pictured from right to left are Leo Carrera, Tatiana Assemian, and Fiona O'Connor. These students were part of the Food Marketing Team that developed a marketing plan for selling the wine.


A plant science student tends hydroponic basil in the AGRIscapes greenhouses CARE FOR HYDROPONICALLY GROWN PRODUCE

Kirk Weatherton, a Plant Science major, tends hydroponic basil in the AGRIscapes greenhouses. Once harvested, the fresh basil is sold in the Farm Store.

A Cal Poly Pomona student harvests jalapeno peppers GROW JALAPENO PEPPERS

Jalapenos are a popular item in Mexican cooking. Growing them became a specialty of three College of Agriculture students. The trio included Cesar Gonzales (pictured), Miguel Macias, and Daniel Pinedo. Over 22,000 plants were grown and about 265,000 peppers harvested on Spadra Ranch. A new fertilization system was developed in the process. Both sweet and hot jalapenos were sold in the Farm Store.

A group of students assembling an irrigation line for the Verti-Grow hydroponic planting system LEARN TO BUILD AN IRRIGATION LINE

A group of students learned to assemble an irrigation line for the Verti-Grow hydroponic planting system. The produce grown in the system provides a U-pick experience for customers of the Farm Store.

An Agronomy student oversees the growing of hydroponic Komatsuna or Japanese Mustard Spinach HARVEST HYDROPONIC PLANTS IN OUR GREENHOUSES

Sarah Ulloa, an Agronomy student, oversees the growing of hydroponic Komatsuna or Japanese Mustard Spinach. This large leafy vegetable is a popular item for the Farm Store to sell at farmer's markets. Sarah is about to deliver a fresh batch to the Farm Store.

A Cal Poly Pomona student with a harvest of watermelons. LEARN ABOUT GROWING AND HARVESTING WATERMELONS

Annette Hernandez knows a lot about watermelons thanks to her hands-on experience here at Cal Poly Pomona. Everything from irrigation schedules, planting, weeding and marketing is part of the deal. Several varieties such as seeded, seedless, and orange flesh watermelons were grown and later sold to a distributor and were also available from the Farm Store.


Involvement in the AM2 student designed clothing line allows students to get real-world experience selling their current fashions in the Farm Store.  Mai Vang (left) and Natalie Acosta are modeling some of the items for sale.  The two are responsible for keeping the display attractive to customers. For more information visit the AM2 website.

Learn by Doing pictures