WSU Master Food Preserver Volunteer Job Description

Washington State University Extension in Clark County

Title – Master Food Preserver

Nature of Position: The volunteer will serve to extend WSU Extension’s food safety and preservation educational program to the public. The volunteer will be responsible to the Master Food Preservers Volunteer coordinator and/or the Food Safety and Nutrition Faculty.

Volunteers will receive 50 hours of intensive training in food safety around the home, and away from home along with food preservation methods and techniques. Volunteers will specifically learn about the reasons behind preserving foods correctly and the how-to’s of canning, freezing, drying, making jams and jellies, and pickling.

After training, volunteers will pass written competency exams on their knowledge of food preservation methods, food safety and their ability to use resource materials. The test is ‘open book’. It is more about using the resources to get the correct answer, not memorization.

Each volunteer that passes the written exam will volunteer a minimum of 130 hours back over a two year period to the community sharing their knowledge of food safety and food preservation. This will be done answering phone calls from consumers, staffing educational displays or questions centers at farmers markets, fruit stands or other locations, creating displays, gauge testing and more.


  • All volunteers are expected to serve as a resource person to answer individual telephone questions on food safety and preservation. This may be done at home through call forwarding or checking office answering machines.
  • Help prepare and staff exhibits at farmers markets, farm stands or other community events
  • Prepare visuals and/or samples to be used in workshops and displays.
  • Assist in presenting workshops to the community on food safety and food preservation.
  • Serve as a team member with the WU Extension staff and faculty.


  • Interest in working with others
  • Experience in handling food in the home. Interest in or experience in food preservation.
  • Willingness to follow recommended preservation procedures of Washington State University Extension.
  • Ability to communicate with others
  • Ability to ask questions to pinpoint problems
  • Ability to know his/her limitations and when to refer questions to someone else
  • Home telephone available for receiving and returning phone calls
  • Available for training session and a minimum of 130 hours of volunteer service.
  • Must be available for telephone duty at least one morning or afternoon each week from 9–noon or 1–4:30 June – October.

Time of Volunteer Service:

  • This is a year round program with the majority of the volunteering time occurring between the months of June and September, usually on weekends with some weekday events.
  • Some activities may occur during holiday seasons.

To apply:If you are interested in becoming a Master Food Preserver Volunteer:

  • Pleases return the application and check made out to “WSU” in the amount of $225. You may do this via mail or bring it into the extension office.


Complete and return the application one week before training begins.