Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center
University of California
Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center

Welcome to Elkus Ranch: Environmental Education Through Hands-On Learning

UC ANR's Elkus Ranch is an outdoor classroom for local youth

Each year, about 9,000 kids visit the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Elkus Ranch in Half Moon Bay for hands-on educational experiences in urban horticulture, nutrition, food safety, pest management, livestock management and food preservation, reported Sara Hayden in April 2018 issue of Half Moon Bay Magazine (the article begins on p. 16).

Hayden visited the ranch with photographer Jaime Soja when a group of preschoolers descended to explore the garden and meet the farm animals.

"They can taste and touch and smell things - feel the wool of a sheep or an egg, know where their food is from, where the clothing fiber comes from," said Kathi Baxter, UC Cooperative Extension environmental science educator at Elkus Ranch. "Ideally, kids would get the idea that space is necessary to grow food. We're hoping to plant that seed of stewardship here."

The Elkus family donated the 125-acre ranch in the 1970s as a gift for youth. The ranch's operating budget depends heavily on grants and donations. 


Join the "Friends of Elkus" and support our wonderful programs!
Your gift allows Elkus Ranch to provide outstanding learning experiences for Bay Area children who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

Students Who Attended Educational Programs as UC Elkus Ranch in 2016

Our staff works diligently to keep the cost of our programs affordable yet program fees do not fully cover our expenses:  it costs over $35 to provide a 3 hour educational program for each child.  However, to ensure access for everyone, we charge no more than $8/child and over 2,000 children receive scholarships each year and attend for free.  In addition, the rising costs of labor, livestock feed and facilities maintenance create a continual challenge.  Help us provide an extraordinary learning experience for a child today!  

meeting the new kids

Make a gift to Elkus Ranch today by clicking on the button below.  Please be sure to select the Elkus Ranch Fund in the "designation" drop down box. 

Thank you! Our visiting children, staff, and our animals are all grateful for your support.  


Learn about upcoming events at Elkus Ranch . . .

Join our mailing list to receive occasional announcements and program updates.  

NOTE: You will be sent a confirmation e-mail when you sign-up. Click the confimation link within the e-mail to activate your subscription to the mailing list.

Located on the California coast near Half Moon Bay, Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center provides unique hands-on learning experiences for Bay Area children. The Conference Center is available for daytime retreats, meetings, and workshops. 

Staff from the University of California Cooperative Extension facilitate hands-on opportunities for children from preschool through high school to explore the processes of producing food and fiber in day and overnight ranch tours, nutrition programs, community service days and special events.  Livestock, gardens, and acres of open space create unique learning experiences for children and their adult chaperones.  The ranch is  specifically dedicated to providing these opportunities for children with special needs and all facilities are fully accessible.  

Map to Elkus Ranch

Please Note: Though we love to share the ranch with visitors, reservations are required for all events and we are not open to the public on a daily basis.  Please check our Upcoming Events for the next opportunity to visit.  Thank you!

Any photography or recordings created by UC Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center at all events are, and will remain the property of UCCE and UC Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center for educational and promotional use only.

Elkus Ranch video created by Sarah Thorpe and used with permission. Thank you Sarah!

Facebook Link

Our Location

Who to Contact

Program Coordinator:
Leslie Jensen

Telephone: 650-712-3151
Email: elkusranch@ucanr.edu or lkjensen@ucanr.edu

Environmental Science Educator:
Kathi Baxter

Telephone: 650-712-3151
Email: kdbaxter@ucanr.edu

Elkus Ranch grounds photo




donkeys in the barn




pile of goats






Webmaster Email: elkusranch@ucanr.edu