UC Master Food Preserver Program
University of California
UC Master Food Preserver Program


Food preservation has been a critical activity throughout the history of civilization, even pre-dating agriculture. Many of our most common means for food preservation have been used since the beginning of history and similar techniques can be found across the globe.  

For more than 100 years UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists have worked with communities across the state to address economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development, and nutrition issues. For more than 30 years UC Master Food Preserver volunteers have shared research-based home food preservation information with the public. The first UC Master Preserver Program started in 1982. Since these humble beginnings programs are now thriving in 17 counties across the state of California.

The Future

The UC Master Food Preserver Program 2020 Strategic Plan sets direction for the next five to ten years. It is a living document, which will be used as a flexible framework to develop annual priorities and evaluate progress. The plan links broad strategic directions to actionable goals, intended outcomes, and key performance indicators to enable assessment of progress over time.

2020 UC Master Food Preserver Strategic Plan

2020 UC ANR Strategic Plan

Community-building Case Statement

Community-building Project Publication

Vintage pruning workshop demonstration - © University of California
© University of California
1862 - Sponsored by Vermont Congressman Justin Morrill, the Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862.

 - The Hatch Act established Experiment Stations to develop "useful and practical information ... and to promote scientific investigations and experiments.”

© University of California
© University of California
1914 - The Smith-Lever Act provided federal funds for cooperative administration of extension education by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)and the state land grant colleges.

1982 - The first UC Cooperative Extension county-based Master Food Preserver Program started in Riverside County, San Bernardino County soon followed.

© University of California
1985 - Regional trainings held for UC Master Food Preserver Programs in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Solano counties. 

2010 - UC Master Food Preserver Programs located in three counties. A resurgence of public interest in home food preservation helps rapidly re-expand program across the state. 

© University of California - Amador County
© University of California
2013 - UC Master Food Preserver Programs located in nine counties; first statewide program co-director's Connie Schneider and Missy Gable appointed.

2014 - Officially recognized as a statewide program under UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. More than 330 active UC Master Food Preserver volunteers, across 16 counties, donated more than 20,505 outreach hours.

Interested in becoming a part of the UC Master Food Preserver Program's rich history? Learn about food safety, equipment, jams and jellies, pickling, dehydration, freezing, and more - all while making an impact in your own community. Find a program near you and learn how to apply to become a certified UC Master Food Preserver!

Webmaster Email: smosbacher@ucanr.edu