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Preserve the Taste of Summer Program Receives a Boost

AMES, Iowa – Preserve the Taste of Summer (PTTS) was launched last July as a pilot program to help adults learn how to safely preserve foods. This year, the basic structure of the program will remain the same, but some new elements are being added as a result of public demand.

“Preserve the Taste of Summer was originally created as a compilation of online and hands-on workshops for adults only,” said Sarah Francis, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist and Iowa State University assistant professor. “We knew the first year would meet with challenges, so we spent the year addressing them and creating a better program.”

The original PTTS included eight online lessons that provided background information on safe food preservation for adults. In order to participate in the hands-on workshops, participants first completed two online lessons on general food safety practices and canning basics along with one or two subject matter lessons.

According to Francis, several new elements are being added to the program:

  • A new publication available through the extension online store, PM 3021 “Canning: Meat, Poultry, Wild Game and Fish.”
  • Group lessons offered at county extension offices for those with limited computer access and/or computer skills. These will involve viewing the online lessons in a group session.
  • A PTTS version for youth and families is being pilot-tested in certain areas throughout the state. Depending on its success, the program will be available statewide next year.
  • A collaboration with Hy-Vee is being explored to reach a larger audience with the food training. Hy-Vee dietitians will complete the required training and then work alongside extension nutrition and health program specialists to conduct PTTS workshops.
  • PTTS is seeking continuing education approval through the Commission of Dietetic Registration. If approved, registered dietitians can receive up to 20 hours of continuing education credits.
  • A PTTS assistant program will be offered to those who complete the Professional and Gold Level training. These graduates of the PTTS program will assist with workshops and help promote the program.

“These additions to the program are based on public need and response,” Francis said. “We let the public take the program in the direction they wanted it to go.”

Currently, 29 people are registered for the program. For information on lessons, workshops and preservation methods, visit http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/preservation/home.html.

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