Hero Image

Become a UC Master Food Preserver Program Volunteer

Applications are now closed.

Join us and become a UC Master Food Preserver Program Volunteer!

katie tea kettler
MFP_Karen Weems_AG_pickle kits

Are you interested in learning new skills and giving back to the community? We are seeking volunteers to help us fulfill our mission of providing research-based food preservation information to home food preservers!

UC Master Food Preserver Program volunteers are adults of all ages and come from all walks of life. Volunteers complete an intensive 10-week training in research-based home-food preservation and food safety practices, then provide information and education to the public.

The Master Food Preserver Program is sponsored by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). Certified volunteers act as agents of the UC and uphold the standards and expectations of the statewide and local program. 

Locally, our program is built upon the diverse skills and backgrounds of the volunteers. Skills and experiences such as speaking and writing in a language other than English, graphic design, writing, photography, public speaking, event planning, budgeting and public relations help us provide quality programs to home food preservers throughout SLO and Santa Barbara Counties.

Public outreach and education are conducted in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:           

  • Organizing educational workshops for the public
  • Staffing a food safety helpline to research and answer questions from the public
  • Hosting information tables at farmers markets and other community events
  • Writing informational documents and articles for local newspapers, our website, blog, and other media outlets
  • Producing educational content for YouTube, Instagram Live, Facebook, and the website

Topics for public workshops and presentations may include:

  • Freezer safety
  • Introduction to Water Bath Canning
  • Quick Pickles
  • Kitchen Safety
  • nd many more!

Visit the About Us page to learn more about what we do.


Training Program Requirements:

Once accepted, trainees are required too:

  • Pay the $275 course fee, or apply for a training fee waiver here (Note: a limited number of waivers are available)
  • Complete a Live Scan fingerprinting and Department of Justice background check
  • Attend an in person 10-week training class, once a week on Tuesday  from 1:00- 5:00 PM, August 22nd to October 24th
  • Complete weekly reading and home-study assignments and participate in hands on learning activities
  • Pass a final exam with minimum score of 85%.

All lab and lectures are held in the UCCE Auditorium located at:

2156 Sierra Way San Luis Obispo CA 93401


After graduating, newly certified UC Master Food Preserver volunteers must complete:

  • 50 hours of volunteer time in support of any program related functions (25 hours per year in subsequent years to maintain certification)
  • 12 hours of approved continuing education credits to enhance their knowledge base after the first year

There are a variety of ways to help us fulfill our mission of providing research-based food safety education to the public. Volunteers can choose to support any one of our existing programs or help us develop new programs or partnerships to help us reach a new audience. Whether you have a bit of time in the evenings or just during the summer, there is a project that would benefit from your unique abilities!