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News & Events


Cal Poly's Organic Farm is ranked 18th in the nation!
A ranking by College Values Online placed Cal Poly's Organic Farm as 18th of 100 college farms surveyed. To read how the rankings were determined, and which farms were placed in the Top 30, please click here.

HCS Staff Member Wins University Honor
Launnie Ginn was awarded one of 3 university distinguised staff awards for 2015-16. Launnie Ginn has served as an Instructional Support Technician for the Horticulture and Crop Science Department for the past 17 years. He is a role model for support technicians across campus. He is extremely supportive of students and faculty in his department, as well as the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). He is the "go to" person for help at the Crops Unit. Launnie works above and beyond his assignment. He is extremely dedicated to the success of the HCS Department and, ultimately, Cal Poly. Students from all majors seek his input and advice relative to Enterprise project questions and concerns. He is devoted and loyal. Launnie is always a willing participant in any and all activities that will show this university, college or department in a positive light. He always does it with a heartfelt smile and willingness to set aside his project to help others.

Photo: Launnie Ginn

Want a Job? Major in Agriculture!
A new 2015 report published by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Purdue University, highlights the need for graduates in agriculture and the shortage of students majoring in fields related to plant science. To quote from the report, “Plant science graduates at all degree levels will find excellent career opportunities. They will find many opportunities for plant geneticists, plant pathologists, and insect biologists to develop higher-yielding crops adapted to less-than-optimal growing conditions. Demand also will be strong for expertise in production of sustainable products made from wood and other biomaterials.” Opportunities will also increase for students majoring in water management, human and animal nutrition, agricultural technology and sustainable agriculture. Read the report "Want a Job? Major in Agriculture." Also, explore career opportunities at Seed Our Future, a joint effort of universities and the agricultural industry to support interest in and an appreciation for horticulture.

Visit the HCS Department Facebook page for the latest news within the Department!


Join us during Cal Poly’s Open House weekend for a retirement dinner honoring Mark and Mike Zohns for their incredible service to Cal Poly students.

Brothers Mark and Mike Zohns have a combined 65 years of teaching experience at Cal Poly — Mark in the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department and Mike in the Ornamental Horticulture Department before it merged with Crop Science to become the Horticulture and Crop Science Department we know today. Mark and Mike Zohns have truly exemplified Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, guiding generations of students in and out of the classroom in events, competitions, and conferences such as the National Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition hosted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America Student Career Days and Field Days (now known as the National Association of Landscape Professionals National Collegiate Landscape Competition).

In honor of the brothers’ dedication to preparing students in and out of the classroom, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is launching the Mark and Mike Zohns Out-of-the-Classroom Experiences Endowment, which will benefit students in both the Horticulture and Crop Science Department and the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department.

Event Details

Date: Friday, April 7, 2017

Time: 5 p.m. — Reception with complimentary wine, beer and appetizers; 5:45 p.m. — Santa Maria-style BBQ by Cal Poly’s own Agricultural Engineering Society student group.

Location: Building 8A, BRAE Lab 1

Tickets: $25 per person; includes reception and dinner

***Guests are encouraged to make a separate donation to the Mark and Mike Zohns Out-of-the-Classroom Experiences Endowment.***

Purchase tickets here!

If you are unable to attend and would like to show your support, you may make a donation here.


HCS Fall Newsletter (PDF)

Catch up on the Winter, 2017 issue of the HCS Department newsletter to learn about student and faculty activities, new initiatives, and student, faculty and alumni success.