Applaud Armstrong for preserving Ag land

June 16, 2015
President Jeffrey Armstrong

President Jeffrey Armstrong


On Friday, President Jeffrey Armstrong of Cal Poly wrote to the faculty to address them at the end of the academic year and to update them on specific issues that had been at the forefront spring quarter. In his update, he announced that, “The decision was made to remove from consideration for development prime agricultural land shown in previous maps as under study. These include the fields between Highway 1 and Brizzolara Creek and west of Mt. Bishop Road, which includes the plot commonly referred to as the “lemon grove.” These fields are those controlled by Cal Poly’s Horticulture and Crop Science Department.

The president further stated that, “The decision was made after carefully considering input from our professional planners and the Cal Poly and broader community. The decision is also tied to two of the key principles that have guided the master plan process from the beginning: 1) enhancing Cal Poly’s tradition of “learn by doing;” and 2) protecting and preserving important campus resources, which includes most class-one prime agricultural soils.”

The “broader community” included Cal Poly alumni from the HCS Department and College of Agriculture, and representatives from local communities who wrote, telephoned or spoke face-to-face with the president and master plan committee representatives about the plan and the importance of preserving prime ag land.

The HCS Department faculty, its staff, students and alumni applaud President Armstrong for endorsing this decision to preserve class 1 (prime) ag land close to the campus core. The decision shows true leadership, a commitment to sustainability and places Cal Poly clearly at the forefront of innovative thinking, as it reverses the decades-long trend which has seen most major universities building on the ag land near to or contained within their main campuses, forcing students to travel via car or van to observe and work in production fields and orchards.

A map has been placed on the Cal Poly Master Plan website which indicates which fields will be preserved from development.

Wyatt Brown is a proffesor in Cal Poly’s Horticulture and Crop Science Department.


Thank goodness something like CP Pomona’s Innovation Village wasn’t proposed.

Thinking like that by Stanford with their Stanford Industrial Park/Stanford Research Park quite literally made the Silicon Valley.


But Cal Poly SLO did! it’s called Tech Park…..


Applaud? Or not.

Man needs no such applause.


I’m proud of you posters below; you display a healthy and admirable sense of suspicion, mistrust, and no-confidence which borders on seeking a replacement.

Where were you people when figures like Marx and Irons get re-elected? We need to WASH OUT the empire builders, incompetents, and schemers from positions of power in local government as well as academics.


Just maybe they don’t live inside the city limits of SLO or maybe in neighboring town.I live a mile out past the city limits it is considered SLO but yet I cannot vote on of the city government or any of their the laws they manage to get passed.


it should read “any of their laws they manage to get passed.


A predictable administrative response. Armstrong attempts to come across as being reasonable by “giving in” to the Ag land issue. It’s a bargaining chip as he’ll be supporting his next move by reminding people his “flexibility” on this issue. Very Orwellian. In truth, Ag has always been a large and important part of Cal Poly; Armstrong showed how out-of-touch with Cal Poly reality he is by making the proposal. Hey Jeffrey, it’s about education, not making a buck.


Got a feeling this idea isn’t over yet. Seems like every time Cal Poly gets an idea that the locals dislike or where the local businesses get screwed they go ahead and do it.


Since this is an Opinion piece, is there any special reason this is not under the Opinion Heading? Just asking!


There are a lot of people in the Ag College that are terribly unhappy with Armstrong’s performance. He needed to do something to throw them a bone given that Agriculture faculty members complained that President Armstrong and his administration ignored them in the selection process of a new Dean.


I would rather applaud all you who worked so hard to make President Armstrong see that SLO and Cal Poly is NOT all about money.

Myself….I do not trust him one bit.


I was talking to a retired Cal Poly Ag department head about 8-10 years ago about discussions on where to build a new basketball arena, and mentioned that just north of highland, off Hwy 1 was an ideal spot. When someone mentioned the fertile soil located there, he scoffed, “Hell, anyone can grow crops there. Students (and professors) might learn something if they tried to farm the never planted hill land just north of there.”

Cathy S.

The way I read the Master Plan only the land designated in Plan 2 was even designated for development, and without it, Armstrong is now able to move the hotel to the campus core, mixing autos and strangers in with classrooms, students, and what should be safe areas for walking and biking. I feel that increases risks to students of injury, assaults and theft. Classrooms should be in the core, not hotels whose guests will seldom have any connection to the University. The land “released” was simply land for consideration in the next master plan review. Typical Cal Poly mislead, Armstrong is probably laughing heartily at this tactical move.


That may have SOME truth to it but not all land is suitable for certain ag uses no matter what one tries.

The same reasoning would also apply to the School of Architecture, Urban Planning. Structural and Civil Engineering departments. Let them find ways to build in less hospitable areas.