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Preserve Today, Relish Tomorrow

The Inaugural Modoc Master Food Preserver Class

By Laura Snell, Modoc County Director and Livestock and Natural Resource Advisor

Raw ingredients to finished canned product - Red Pasta Sauce.

This past February, we started planning to start the first ever Modoc Master Food Preserver program. The University of California Master Food Preserver Program extends UC research-based information about home food safety and preservation to the public. The program is a public service and outreach program under the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) administered locally by participating UC Cooperative Extension county offices. Check out for more information (and great recipes!).

This will be the first year Modoc County will have access to this statewide program and train Master Food Preservers to serve in our community. Modoc Harvest ( was an essential partner helping with financial support and recruiting for the program. Student volunteers started the online training course in March and met nearly every Friday afternoon from March – August learning different types of food preservation and taking quizzes. Some topics included high acid or water bath canning, low acid or pressure canning, pickling, fermentation, jams and jellies, freezing, dehydration and more. Students take final exams at the end of the course and must receive a minimum of 85% to pass the class.

In 2021, four students passed the exam and final presentation. You can watch their recorded presentations below. These four will now participate in a hands-on learning lab later this fall to complete the program. Volunteers complete continuing education and volunteer hours each year to remain Master Food Preservers.

(In order of appearance) Lorraine Colbert – Flavored Salts, Sean Curtis – Using a Steam Juicer, Vicki Grilli – Dehydrating with an Air Fryer, Jessica Watson – Making Chevre Cheese

The Modoc Master Food Preservers will have a booth in the Agriculture building at the Modoc District Fair this year August 26-29. They will be demonstrating how to make flavored salts using local dehydrated herbs. They will also be working with Modoc Harvest to have information at the local farmers markets.

Salt-brined citrus.


If you are interested in becoming a Master Food Preserver in the future, contact us at (530) 233-6400 or email Laura Snell at to learn more. We will be offering a similar format class for 2022 with applications available in February 2022.

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