Who can be a MFP Volunteer?
Any Benton or Franklin county resident, eighteen years of age or older, is eligible for the program. The individual should have an interest in food safety/preservation and must have the time to commit to the 30+ hour training program and 50 hours of volunteer outreach education. Prior experience with food preservation is not necessary. We will teach you what you need to know.
How do you become a MFP Volunteer?
Complete the MFP Registration Packet and before classes start, return it to the Benton County Extension office. Attend the program orientation session to make sure the program is right for you. At the completion of the orientation, if you choose to participate, pay the registration fee.
Upon completion of the course, an open-book certification exam is given and those passing are considered a certified MFP volunteer for the coming program year.
What benefits do MFPs receive from the program?
MFP volunteers are provided training, plus a packet of resource materials. Class instruction is appropriate for people with differing educational backgrounds and food preservation experience. After training, volunteers continue to receive updates on the latest research in the area of food safety/preservation. Through their experiences, volunteers develop skills in working with people, public speaking, and building self-confidence in addition to increasing their expertise in food safety/preservation.
As a volunteer, how long am I committed to the program?
Your commitment is for 50 hours of volunteer outreach education. Of course, we hope MFP volunteers will find the program rewarding and fun and continue in the program after the first year. However, your commitment is complete after your 50 hours. If you want to remain active in the program, you will need to re-certify each year.
What are the dates for the training program?
Training sessions are held once a year, April through June. New volunteers must attend all of the training and laboratory sessions in order to be certified as a volunteer. Excessive tardiness will be considered an absence. A training schedule is available each year that outlines the training classes, lab dates and topics.
What is the non-volunteer option?
The non-volunteer option provides an opportunity for individuals to participate in the program who are not interested in serving as a volunteer or live outside the Benton-Franklin county area. Because the primary focus of the program is to train a team of volunteers to assist with program delivery, those registering as volunteers will be given priority. If there is space available, I will accept non-volunteer registrations. NOTE: THERE IS GENERALLY SPACE AVAILABLE!
If I am from a county outside Benton-Franklin, why can’t I volunteer in my own county?
The Master Food Preserver program is only available in Benton-Franklin Counties. Volunteers must have a supervising faculty in the county office. County support for supervision of safety/preservation outreach programs are not available in other county offices.
Is there an online option for the training?
The MFP program is an in-person training, involving classroom instruction and laboratory learning. There is no virtual or online learning option for this program.
How do I register?
Registration forms can be downloaded here (MFP Registration Packet) or you can pick one up at the WSU Benton County Extension office, 7102 W. Okanogan Pl., Ste. 102, Kennewick, WA 99336. For more information call Lizann Powers-Hammond, Extension Faculty at (509) 735-3551 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org