Toni Silva 419

Preserve Vital Agricultural Land at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Some of you might be aware Cal Poly is developing its master plan for the next 20 years. In the latest version of the master plan, there are two developments that have potentially heavy impact on our agriculture program at Cal Poly.

For further in depth details about the effects the Cal Poly master plan will have on agricultural land, please continue to read the statement below. If you would like to support us please sign the petition attached. We have listed reasons why this land is necessary for the Cal Poly community.

1) The dairy must have a means of dealing with waste water/bionutrient management in order to continue to operate. Without the dairy, there is no DSCI program!

2) The land is also used to provide forages to the dairy. This past year we were able to double crop with silage and triticale.

3) The fields are used for grazing for our heifers and other heifers on campus.

4) In addition these fields are used for two big open house events: Tractor Pull and Rodeo

5) Several faculty members are doing research utilizing these fields.

6) Land is also used for forage classes and fertilizer labs to demonstrate the “Learn by Doing” motto.

If you care about this issue, please sign the attached petition.

By signing, you are stating that you agree and stand with us as we fight for:

- All of Cal Poly's Prime Farmland (17 acres along Mount Bishops Rd) to remain solely for agricultural use and education. We support the removal of this land from consideration as potential construction sites on the Cal Poly Master Plan.

-You agree that the fields along Mount Bishop Road should continue to be used as a learning lab, research facility, crop production, special event venue and as a permitted location for disposal of waste water.


Hello colleagues, alumni and friends,

Some of you might be aware Cal Poly is developing its master plan for the next 20 years. This master plan envisions Cal Poly with an enrollment of 25,000 students. As you might expect, this growth will mean significant building and expansion of the campus.

Below is the link to take you to the current master plan. Please view it to understand my next comments.

http://masterplan.calpoly.edu/contact/ (Select “Conceptual maps” and “refined land use plan”)

In the latest version of the master plan, there are two developments that have potentially heavy impact on our dairy program. First, the fields on the east side of Mount Bishop Road, where we grow crops for the Dairy, graze heifers and, even more significantly, which we utilize as spray fields for waste water, are now scheduled for other uses! While these fields will not disappear instantly, this is a major issue for the dairy. Second, the area depicted in pink that is north/northwest of the commodity barn is scheduled to be taken as well. This is land that we use to pasture cattle.

These re-purposes of ag land are troubling for many different reasons. Let's focus on the fields on the east side of Mount Bishop Road:

1) The dairy must have a means of dealing with waste water/bionutrient management in order to continue to operate. Without the dairy, there is no DSCI program!

2) The land is also used to provide forages to the dairy. This past year we were able to double crop with silage and triticale.

3) The fields are used for grazing for our heifers and other heifers on campus.

4) In addition these fields are used for two big open house events: Tractor Pull and Rodeo

5) Several faculty members are doing research utilizing these fields.

6) Land is also used for forage classes and fertilizer labs to demonstrate the “Learn by Doing” motto.

It is interesting (and somewhat confusing!) that the fields directly across Mt Bishop Road are classified as prime ag land that has now been spared from development.

The area in pink that is north/northwest of the commodity barn presents another issue to the dairy:

1) The pastureland is a place where we can allow cows to be off the concrete and to simply “be cows”. This is an animal welfare issue. Once that land is re-purposed, there are few, if any, other options for placing cattle anywhere but in the dry lots. In addition this means we will have to supply feed for these heifers when they are off pasture.

If this is bothersome to you as well, please use the “contact” button on the website above and write a few words to the masterplan committee expressing your thoughts. The College Land Use committee has spoken up vocally against these developments, but it is clear that the highest levels will be more responsive to contact from the outside. This won’t cost you a penny, but it is a chance to influence the future potential for others to receive an education in Dairy Science. If those of us in Agriculture won’t speak up, then who will?

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might want to be heard.

If you care about this issue, please sign the attached petition.

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