Since the organization was founded in 1914, food preservation has been a fundamental part of cooperative extension services. The Dissemination Agent at Clemson University continues this practice by offering programs such as the South Carolina Master Food Preserver Certification Program.
The Master Food Preserver program is designed to teach volunteers how to teach community members about food preservation. In South Carolina, this program is taught by Clemson Extension Agents.
A total of 36 people recently graduated from the program’s first class, led by Faith Isreal, Clemson Extension’s Food Systems and Safety Agents.
“South Carolina’s Master Food Preserver program is an opportunity for volunteers to participate, learn, become certified, and share that information with the public,” says Isreal. “These volunteers extend our reach with food demonstrations, help with county fair displays, school initiatives, and things of that nature.”
In the first phase of the program, students complete online lessons containing information on food preservation. Then, attend two days of intensive hands-on learning to put that information into practice.
“By doing this, we ensure that our students are knowledgeable about these topics and that we are providing research-based, unbiased information to the public,” Isreal said.
Topics in Part 1 include preservation and food safety, hot water canning, steam and pressure, pickling, fruit and vegetable dehydration, food freezing, and fermentation basics. In the second segment, participants must contribute at least 40 hours of service projects to complete the program and receive the title of “South Carolina Master Food Preserver.”
Volunteer activities may vary by county. Service projects include activities such as sponsoring food preservation workshops, answering questions from the public, testing pressure canners, and hosting canning demonstrations.
Following initial certification, 20 hours of educational services and 10 hours of continuing education are required each year.
Janet Chisolm-Richard of Dorchester County said she successfully completed her first class and “highly” recommends the program to everyone in South Carolina.
“We have food and we need to save it,” said Chisholm Richard. “We grew up knowing this. It’s time to train new people how to do it.”
Other participants agree that the program is beneficial.
Kathi Christy of Greenville County said: “It’s been great to get together with other participants, learn from them, learn other resources, get hands on food and learn the process together.”
Bryan Yebba of Greenwood County sees food preservation as a way to extend the gardening season.
“I had a lot of fun coming here,” said Yeva. “I have met many like-minded people who have community gardens and kitchen gardens.
For those who missed this first Master Food Preserver class, Israel said he plans to hold another class. Those interested in the next class can contact her Isreal at firstname.lastname@example.org to get their name put on the waiting list. Interested parties may also complete the information request form at http://bit.ly/3Jwcb5d to be notified about upcoming Master Food Preserver training classes.
“People have already put their names on the waiting list so they can join the next cohort to learn more and spread their knowledge through the Clemson Extension,” she said.
The Cooperative Extension Service was established by the federal Smith Lever Act of 1914 to allow state land grant colleges to extend education in agriculture and related subjects beyond the classroom. This agricultural college and his USDA partnership allows for the dissemination of information generated by the school’s research. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture was established in 2008 and works on issues such as food security, climate change, natural resource and environmental sustainability, bioenergy, childhood obesity prevention and food safety.
Please contact us and we will put you in touch with the author or another expert.
Or email us at email@example.com