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Cooperative Extension: Food Systems and Safety

Master Food Preserver

What is a Master Food Preserver (MFP)?

Certified Extension Volunteer that works to extend Clemson Extension’s food preservation educational programs to adults and youth. The MFP serves as a resource to the community to provide research-based non-bias information from Clemson Cooperative Extension Service and USDA.

Who should apply?

Individuals with experience and the desire to teach and work with others in canning within the fields of: water bath/steam canning, pressure canning, freezing and dehydrating.

Why become a Master Food Preserver?

It's a great way to contribute to your community. As a Master Food Preserver, you get to meet and work with a group of passionate gardeners, hobbyists, and food enthusiasts.

Being a Master Food Preserver is an excellent way to learn and stay up-to-date on the latest preserving methods and issues in food safety.

The Master Food Preserver volunteer training is divided into two segments.

Segment one is an 8-week online self-pace study of instruction.

Segment two is service, beginning with a 2-day intensive is scheduled for Thursday, January 25th (8 hours) & Friday, January 26th, 2024 (7 hours) in West Columbia, SC.

Both segments are required to receive a certificate of completion.


Participants receive at least 30 hours of intensive, practical food preservation during the Master Food Preserver Training (MFPT).

Topics covered in the MFPT include:

  • Basics to Preserving/Food Safety
  • Water Bath Canning
  • Steam Canning
  • Pressure Canning
  • Jams, Jellies, & Soft Spreads
  • Pickling
  • Drying
  • Freezing
  • Fermentation


Participants will donate at least 30 hours of educational service, completed by August 30th, 2024, in order to complete the program and receive the title of "South Carolina Master Food Preserver". The nature of the volunteer work may vary by county.

Examples of educational service may consist of:

  • Assisting Extension Agent with food preservation workshops
  • Providing information at local farmers’ markets, fairs or community events
  • Preparing educational displays, writing articles for newsletters, newspapers, etc.
  • Conducting presentations and workshops for community groups and schools

A criminal background check is required of all applicants.

Following the initial certification, there is an annual requirement of 20 hours of educational service and 10 hours of continuing education.
The 10 hours of continuing education consists of reviewing new updates or laws regarding food safety, case studies of food related outbreaks, etc.

Get Notified:

Ready to embark on the journey in becoming a South Carolina Master Food Preserver? Complete this form to receive notification for the next Master Food Preserver Volunteer Training Class. Dates have not yet been determined. Completing this form ensures you will be informed when registration opens.

If you have questions, please contact:
Faith Isreal

Cooperative Extension Food Systems and Safety
Cooperative Extension Food Systems and Safety | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634