Master Food Preserver Volunteers Role Description


Master Food Preserver Volunteer


The Master Food Preserver Volunteer training takes place in various Cumberland county locations, however, volunteer work and projects can be completed throughout the state once your training is complete.


Master Food Preserver Volunteers serve to extend UMaine Extension’s educational programs in food preservation to adults and youth. The Master Food Preserver Volunteers serve 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.


Through an application process, any Maine resident 18 years or older is eligible to take the Master Food Preserver Volunteer course. To become a Master Food Preserver Volunteer, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Attend the 9-part, 35-hour Master Food Preserver Volunteer 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 Volunteer (within a 12-month period)
  • Complete quarterly reports on the number of public contacts made


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 providing 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.

Time Commitment

Complete the 35-hour Master Food Preserver course, including hands-on kitchen lab session, and fulfill at least 20 hours of volunteer service as a Master Food Preserver Volunteer.


After the training, you will have UMaine Extension support and check-ins. During the lectures, discussions, and hands-on kitchen lab experiences, you will learn

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


  • Extensive training and knowledge
  • UMaine Extension as a resource and network
  • Connection and group project work with other trained Master Food Preserver Volunteers
  • Professional development and leadership opportunities


Kathleen Savoie
Extension Educator
75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth 04105

For more information, visit the Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program page.