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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 County, and providing outreach to Tuolumne, Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties! We have just completed our second training class cohort and will be offering our third training class beginning in September of 2023.

Fall 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. Students must be willing to drive approximately 6 times to Mariposa or Catheys Valley for the lab classes (held Sept-Nov 2023).

How to Apply

Applications are CLOSED for the Fall 2023 class. 2023 MFP Training Class Application

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 $250 course fee by August 18, 2021. Full and partial scholarships are available. 
  • Attend online classes on specified dates (or watch the recording), as well as the in-person labs on several Saturdays a month. 
  • Complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process by August 31, 2023. Forms will be provided in your acceptance packet. 
  • Attend monthly program business meetings on the first Thursdays at 5:30 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 November 10, 2023, as part of your training program.
  • Complete 50 volunteer hours between January 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025. 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

Online lecture classes via Zoom or watch the recording prior to Lab.

In-person hands-on labs 

Hands-on Labs will be held in Mariposa County. Students must be willing to attend a lab several times per month. One Makeup lab will be offered. 


Important Dates

5/18 Application Period Opens
8/1 Applications Due
8/1 Interviews Begin
8/18 Paperwork and Payment/Scholarship Due
8/31 Fingerprint Forms Due
9/5 Online Class 1: Orientation, Safety and Cold Storage
9/9 Lab 1: Cold Storage
9/12 Online Class 2: Pickling/Fermenting
9/16 Lab 2: Pickling/Fermenting
9/19 Online Class 3: High Acid Canning
9/30 Lab 3: High Acid Canning
10/10 Online Class 4: Fruit Spreads
10/14 Lab 4: Fruit Spreads
10/24 Online Class 5: Low Acid Canning
10/28 Lab 5: Low Acid Canning
10/31 Online Class 6: Dehydrating
11/4 Lab 6: Drying
11/7 Online Class 7: Being an MFP 
11/12 Finals Due
11/18 Class Graduation


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