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Be a Master Food Preserver

Becoming a Master Food Preserver

UCCE Mariposa is proud to introduce you to our newest program--the UC Master Food Preserver Program, serving Mariposa, Tuolumne, Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties! We will be offering our second training class beginning in January to June of 2023 and look forward to providing education on safe food preservation thereafter.

2023 Master Food Preserver Training Class

What are Master Food Preservers?

Master Food Preservers are volunteer educators associated with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. We educate local communities about safe and healthy food preservation and preparation methods. Our volunteers work together to offer workshops, demonstrations, youth events, food donation events and more. 

Who can apply?

  • Applications accepted from Mariposa, Tuolumne, Merced, Madera and Fresno County residents.
  • Applicants must be comfortable using a computer and accessing the internet. Class lessons, quizzes and homework are online; class communication is via email. 
  • This will be a joint training program with lab classes held in Mariposa County. Lab classes will also be held in Tuolumne County subject to applicant interest. Students must be willing to drive (approximately once per month) to Mariposa or Catheys Valley for the 7 lab classes (held Feb-June 2023).

How to Apply

  1. Watch the one-hour informational meeting recording to learn more about the Master Food Preserver Program: Click here to view the recording of the November 18 information session. The Mariposa, Madera, Merced, Fresno and Tuolumne program has some unique features not found in other programs. We will go over those differences in our interviews for those who apply to the program. 
  2. Applications are closed for the 2023 class. Check back with us for upcoming workshops and training classes. 

What We’ll Do

  • Review applicants via interviews. Main criteria for acceptance: 1) prior community service, 2) experience teaching, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-on-one situations, 3) experience/interest in home food preservation.
  • Request a DOJ Clearance, including fingerprinting.
  • Teach you how to preserve food successfully using scientifically researched home processes.
  • Teach you how to educate our community about safe home food preservation.
  • Provide you with plenty of fun volunteer and continuing education opportunities.

What You’ll Do If Accepted

  • Pay the $175 course fee by January 4, 2021. Full and partial scholarships are available. 
  • Attend online classes from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on the Friday dates listed (or watch the recording), as well as the in-person labs on several Saturdays a month. 
  • Complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process by February 24, 2023. Forms will be provided in your acceptance packet. 
  • Attend monthly program business meetings on the first Thursdays at 4:30 as often as possible. At this time meetings are online via Zoom to accommodate our five counties.
  • Attend at least one public class hosted by a UC Master Food Preserver Program; either in person or online, by April 7, 2023, as part of your training program.
  • Complete 50 volunteer hours between January 27, 2023 and June 30, 2024. Thereafter, you will be asked to complete 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours each year to remain active (July 1 to June 30).
  • Pass an annual food safety reappointment quiz and complete reappointment paperwork. 

Class Locations

Lecture classes & labs:

Online lecture classes via Zoom: Fridays, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Hands-on labs: See Schedule for Mariposa County. Labs in Tuolumne County to be determined. 

In-person hands-on labs 

Hands-on Labs will be held in Mariposa County (and Tuolumne County subject to applicant interest). Students must be willing to attend a lab approximately twice per month. Makeup labs will be offered. 

Training Fee: $175.00

Important Dates

9/7 Application Period Opens
10/21 Training Info Meeting
11/18 Training Info Meeting
12/4 Applications Due
12/7 Interviews Begin
1/4 Payment Due
1/26 Pre-Class Zoom Prep (opt)
1/27 Class 1: Orientation
2/3 Class 2: Food Safety
2/10 Class 3: Cold Storage
2/11 Lab 1: Cold Storage
2/24 Fingerprint Forms Due
2/24 Class 4: High Acid Canning
2/25 Lab 2: High Acid Canning
3/10 Class 5: Pickling/Fermenting
3/11 Lab 3: Pickling/Fermenting
3/18 Makeup Lab #1
3/24 Class 6: Fruit Spreads
3/25 Lab 4: Fruit Spreads
4/14 Class 7: Low Acid Canning
4/15 Lab 5: Low Acid Canning
4/28 Class 8: Dehydrating
5/5 Class 9: Emergency Prep
5/6 Lab 6: Dehydration Lab 
5/6 Makeup Lab #2
5/19 Class 10: Being an MFP
TBA Finals Due
5/20 Class Graduation


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