The primary products produced by the missions were cow hides and tallow. The cow hides were also known as Yankee dollars, because they were traded for manufactured goods brought by ships which were mostly from Boston. San Luis Obispo was also famous for being the first mission to make roofing tiles, which the other missions soon copied.
As of 1832, the last year for which records were kept, San Luis Obispo had a herd of 2.500 cattle and 5,432 sheep. San Luis Obispo also had large agricultural fields under cultivation.