Master Food Preserver Volunteers

Jackson County Food Preservers catering the 2016 OSU Alumni Luncheon


With many hours of volunteer assistance, the OSU Extension Service has provided research-based information about safe food handling to thousands of Oregonians for 25 years. This has averted foodborne illness (and medical bills) and prevented the expense of food waste.

Food Safety/Preservation Program: A Master Food Preservers volunteer program was launched in 1980 to support the county Food Safety/Preservation Program. Master Food Preserver Volunteers are assisting OSU Extension efforts at emergency food sites (food pantries) and schools.



We have had an increased interest in the Master Food Preserver Volunteer Training series this year and, due to our desire to provide top-quality education, will only be accepting 30 students. This is a volunteer program and as such selection of our students will reflect that concept. OSU offers a variety of educational programs to meet the needs of persons not principally interested in serving as a volunteer. We have over 75 possible applications coming in for the 2017 series. Keep in mind that not everyone who submits an application will be accepted into the program.

Tuition is $150 + $50 for the manual (a couple may share this resource) for a total of $200 (a couple would pay $350, if they share their manual). New this year is an online registration process. The application is available at the below link:

A $150 deposit is required to hold your registration. Applications will be reviewed and followed up with an informal meeting with the interview committee. Upon acceptance, you will be notified and must pay your remaining registration in full within one week, in that order. If you are not accepted, your $150 deposit will be refunded in a timely manner. If you choose to not do the volunteer hours your cost will be $500 payable upon acceptance into the program.

IF you prefer to pay by check, complete the application process online and click save when you get to the payment section. Make checks payable to OSU in the amount of $150. This will allow you to go through the interview process. The remaining $50 will be due within one week of acceptance into the program. Your deposit will be returned if you are not accepted as a student in this certification series. Send checks or money orders to:

OSU Extension Service
Attn: Sheila Lee
569 Hanley Road
Central Point, OR  97502

Please keep in mind that the monetary value of the MFP Course is far in excess of $200 and additionally we require 48 hours of volunteer educational service time to be completed within one year. This can be accomplished through time spent teaching/assisting with community classes, working at our booths at the Grower’s Market, County Fair, Master Gardener Spring Fair, volunteering in schools, and a variety of other venues. These and many other opportunities will be discussed during the Course. There is something for everyone.

In the event that you need to cancel your enrollment, you must do so a minimum of 14 days (March 23, 2017) before Orientation in order to receive a refund. 

Class dates are 10 consecutive Thursdays, 9am to 4pm as follows:

  • March 30, Thursday (orientation)
  • April 6, Thursday,
  • April 13, Thursday
  • April 20, Thursday
  • April 27, Thursday
  • May 4, Thursday
  • May 11, Thursday
  • May 18, Thursday
  • May 25, Thursday
  • June 1, Thursday

The Auditorium opens every Thursday beginning March 30, 2017 at 8:30am with 30 minutes of social time; coffee and tea will be offered, and class begins promptly at 9am.  If you have any questions, you can reach me at We have lots of ground to cover in our 10 weeks together and we are truly looking forward to meeting you this spring. 



Holiday Food Safety Stephanie Polizzi, MPH, RD, CHES Faculty


In 2010, 58 Master Food Preserver Volunteers contributed over 3,100 hours of time in Jackson and Josephine counties. They educated the public about safe food handling/preservation over the phone and at over 26 workshops and exhibits. Over 4,000 Oregonians were contacted through these direct methods. Over 50,000 contacts were made through television programs (including Scott’s Garden on Channel 12, The Real Dirt Program, and Healthy Living featured on Public Access Programming), and four articles about our classes in the Medford Mail Tribune.

Our volunteers work with the OSU Nutrition Education Program. They have helped to give food pantry demonstrations and on the use of emergency foods and healthy food choices.  Over 16,000 contacts were made to adults and youth in food pantries, schools, and other SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) eligible locations.

Caryn Wheeler, MPH
Family & Community Health
Jackson & Josephine Counties
OSU Extension Service
569 Hanley Road
Central Point, OR 97502

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