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 as a resource in the community to provide the public with research-based information from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and USDA.

Direct questions about the program to the instructor Kathy Savoie at

Who is eligible to apply?

Through an application process, any Maine resident 18 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?

$300 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.

2023 Master Food Preserver Course

The application process for the 2023 Master Food Preserver course has closed. To be notified when the applications for the next class become available, please complete the form below:

Interest form for Master Food Preserver class

Sign up for our Master Food Preserver interest list to be notified when applications for the next class become available.


  • UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County, 75 Clearwater Dr, Suite 104, Falmouth, ME 04105
  • Brunswick High School, 116 Maquoit Rd, Brunswick, ME 04011


  • Session I: Introduction
  • Session II: Jams & Jellies
  • Session III: Drying Herbs
  • Session IV: Low Acid Canning
  • Session V: Pickling & Fermenting
  • Session VI: Freezing Fruit
  • Session VII: Tomatoes & Tomato Products
  • Session VIII: Canning Acid Foods
  • Session IX: Winter Storage
  • Session X: Final Exam

Time: 5:30—8:30 p.m.

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

*Topics are subject to change based on seasonal produce availability.