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Penn State Extension Offers Food Preservation Education

Posted: September 9, 2011

The Penn State Extension Master Food Preserver program brings food preservation information to the public.
Montgomery County Master Food Preserver volunteer Beth Miller giving information to one of the attendees at the 2011 Montgomery County 4-H Fair

Montgomery County Master Food Preserver volunteer Beth Miller giving information to one of the attendees at the 2011 Montgomery County 4-H Fair

Penn State Extension in Montgomery County is part of a new statewide program geared at bringing food preservation information to the public. The Master Food Preserver Program is a volunteer based approach to food preservation outreach and education.  Twenty-two volunteers representing 19 counties completed intensive three day Master Food Preserver training in State College in May of this year.  

Martin Bucknavage, who organized the workshop, is the food safety Specialist for Pennsylvania. He says, "The increase in people growing their own food and shopping at farmers markets has led to increased interest in wanting to preserve homegrown commodities". There has also been an increased demand on Penn State Extension to provide this type of programming. 

The Master Food Preserver Program is a pilot program that is based on the Master Gardener model. Once the volunteers complete their training they are required to teach others what they have learned. The primary goal of the program is to help spread food preservation resources and information to the public. 

The volunteers have a variety of experiences and are eager share their knowledge of food preservation. The three Montgomery County volunteers selected to participate in the program, Charlie Breinig, Beth Miller and Lisa LoMonaco are available to offer educational programs in food preservation. These services include teaching workshops, conducting demonstrations, answering consumer questions and requests, testing pressure canner gauges and providing exhibits. Ideal locations for the programs are food stores, fairs, farmer's markets, schools, community organization sites, community kitchens, and libraries. 

The information shared by the Master Food Preservers is unbiased and comes from research-based sources approved by the Penn State Master Food Preserver Program. 
If you or your organization are interested working with a Master Food Preserver to offer an educational program, contact the Montgomery County Extension Office at 610-489-4315.