Master Food Preserver Program

Master Food Preservers canning pickles
Photo by Edwin Remsberg

Do you enjoy the art and science of food preservation? Would you like to develop expertise in food preservation? Consider becoming a Master Food Preserver.

What is a Master Food Preserver?

Master Food Preservers serve to extend Extension’s education programs in food preservation to adults and youth. The Master Food Preserver serves as a volunteer and resource in the community to provide the public with research-based information from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and USDA.

Who is eligible to apply?

Through an application process, any Maine resident 21 years or older is eligible to take the Master Food Preserver course. To become a Master Food Preserver, accepted applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Attend the 10-part, 35-hour Master Food Preserver course including hands-on kitchen lab sessions.
  • Complete lab quizzes and pass the final written exam.
  • Complete at least 20 hours of volunteer service as a Master Food Preserver.
  • Complete quarterly reports on the number of public contacts made.

To learn more view the Master Food Preserver Volunteer Role Description

What does the training cover?

During the lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab experiences, you will learn:

  • the latest information on food safety and food preservation;
  • prevention of food-borne illness;
  • food storage and safety;
  • canning basics;
  • canning acid foods;
  • canning low-acid foods;
  • pickled and fermented foods;
  • preserving jams and jellies;
  • freezing foods; and
  • drying food products.

What does the training cost?

$250 per person (limited financial assistance available)

What are Master Food Preserver volunteer experiences?

After completing your training, you will have an opportunity to choose your volunteer experiences. The 20-hour commitment can be fulfilled by:

  • Helping others to learn, and provide research-based information from UMaine Extension.
  • Providing information at local farmers’ markets, fairs, or community events.
  • Conducting presentations and workshops as part of a team or on your own for community groups and schools.
  • Preparing educational displays, writing articles for newsletters, newspapers, etc.

2019 Master Food Preserver Course

Thank you for your interest in the Master Food Preserver class! The application period for 2019 is now closed. To be placed on an interest list for next year’s class, please email

To be considered for the Master Food Preserver program you must fill out an application and submit a letter of recommendation. You can complete the application electronically or mail in your submission. If you are having difficulty saving or entering information into the PDF you are welcome to  Any application received without a letter of recommendation will be considered incomplete. If you need a printed version of the application or have any questions call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email


UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County, 75 Clearwater Dr, Falmouth, ME 04105
Brunswick High School, 116 Maquoit Rd, Brunswick, ME 04011



  • June 18 – Falmouth – Introduction
  • June 25 Brunswick – Jams & Jellies
  • July 9 – Brunswick – Drying Herbs
  • July 23 – Brunswick – Low Acid Canning
  • Aug 6 – Brunswick – Pickling & Fermenting
  • Aug 13 – Brunswick – Freezing Fruit
  • Aug 20 – Brunswick – Tomatoes & Tomato Products
  • Aug 27 – Brunswick – Canning Acid Foods
  • Sept 10 – Falmouth – Winter Storage
  • Sept 17 – Falmouth – Final

Time: 5:30 PM—8:30 PM

Workshop Leader: Kathy Savoie, MS, RD, Extension Educator

Application Process:

  • Application deadline is May 3, 2019 before 4:30 PM
  • One letter of recommendation required and due by Friday, May 3rd before 4:30 PM
  • Participants are informed of their selection status the 3rd week in May

Complete the application, paying close attention to each of the questions.  Your history as a volunteer is an important part of your application.  You will get a confirmation of submission. Any application received without a letter of recommendation will be considered incomplete. If you need a printed version of the application call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email