Master Food Preserver Program

Master Food Preserver Program

What is the Master Food Preserver program?

The Master Food Preserver (MFP) program started in 1980 with a dedicated group of volunteers from Linn, Benton, Lane, and Marion counties. These volunteers were trained and certified to assist their county Extension staff in providing up-to-date food safety/preservation information to the citizens in their county. The program was not active in Marion, Polk,Yamhill for several years, but started again in Spring 2013.


What do Master Food Preservers (MPFs) do?

MFPs work as local food safety and preservation resources in their communities. They conduct workshops and demonstrations for groups and organizations, and test pressure canner gauges at workshops and demonstrations.  They staff information booths and present demonstrations at County Fairs, local festivals, produce stands, farmer’s markets, home shows, and Saturday markets, and assist Extension staff with distribution, filing and inventory of food safety/preservation supplies and bulletins. MFPs also have the opportunity to volunteer with the Nutrition Education Program (serving low-income audiences).


Who can be a MFP Volunteer?

Anyone interested in food safety/preservation that is able to: (1) commit to a 48-hour training program, (2) pay the material/lab fee, (3) volunteer at least 40-hours in the year following completion of the training series, (4) commit to remaining active in the program beyond the initial year of service, and (5) uphold the educational and service values of the OSU Extension Service.


How do you become a MFP Volunteer?

Complete the MFP application and participate in an informal interview. If selected, applicants pay the class fee ($110) and complete an intensive 48-hour course in all phases of food safety/preservation. Upon completion of the course, an open-book certification exam is given and those passing are certified MFP volunteers for the coming program year.

MFP Applications become available in January of each year; the class is usually April - June.


What benefits do MFPs receive from the program?

MFP volunteers engage in a rigorous yet fun training program, and receive a resource notebook containing a wealth of information. Material is presented in a practical, hands-on manner that is appropriate for people with differing educational backgrounds and levels of food preservation experience. After the training, volunteers continue to receive updated information on the latest research in the area of food safety/preservation. Volunteers become part of a group of dedicated individuals who are very supportive of one another and work as team. Through their experiences, volunteers develop skills in working with people, public speaking, and building self-confidence in addition to increasing their expertise in food safety/preservation. Most importantly, volunteers make very meaningful contributions to the health and welfare of people throughout (and beyond) the Willamette Valley.


How long am I committed to the program?

Although your required volunteer contribution is just 40-hours during the first year, we seek out persons willing to commit to the MFP program for more than one season.  Ongoing training is available to continuing volunteers, and annual recertification events are offered to ensure all volunteers remain current on the important concepts taught through the MFP program.


What are the dates for the training program?

The Master Food Preserver classes are offered in the Spring of each year.  Applications for the 2018 MFP class are available here




Here more about the Master Food Preserver program on the KMUZ "Waste Matters on the Air" radio show.

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