The purpose of this project is to expand the knowledge of individuals in the area of food preservation and recipe creation using natural fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other edible plants.

For questions about this project, please click here to contact the Project Chair.

Who Can Participate

Individuals ages 5-22 may participate in one of four age categories:

A. 5-9 year olds
B. 10-14 year olds
C. 15-18 year olds
D. 19-22 year olds (along with previous Grand National Award Winners)

Individuals only; no teams.

Project Requirements:

Participant must prepare one preserved (canned) item to be judged on presentation.

Food Preservation

Participants must prepare preserved (canned) items to be judged. The following rules apply:

1. Must have been prepared by individual.
2. No individual will be allowed to present the same recipe in successive years. [Perhaps implies a self-generated recipe. All canning supported by University research is based on research-tested, up-to-date recipes. Never a home-developed recipe. Acceptable recipes can be found online:]
3. Items should be canned in quart size jars or smaller. [Jar size is ‘dictated’ by the recipe. Many recipes do not provide for jars as large as quarts.]
4. All ingredients used must be edible.
5. All recipes must include a complete list of ingredients and procedures
and citation of source.
6. Individuals should follow proper canning procedures.
7. Food safety preparation should be followed during the creation of all dishes.
8. Must include a 3 x 5 notecard or label with entry with the following information:  Individuals must bring 2 jars.  One jar for observation and 1 jar to sample or taste.

a. Name of Product
b. Date Canned
c. Method of preparation (Hot pack or cold pack)
d. Method of processing (Boiling water, pressure canner (with pounds))
e. Time of processing
f. What did you learn from making this recipe and what would you change?

9.  Name, Age & State listed on item.

10.  Phone and address

11.  Advisor Name

12. Must register by September 15th on line


A.  Name of Product

B.  Date Canned

C.  Method of Preparation ( Hot or Cold Packed)

D.  Method of Processing (Boiling water, pressure canner with pounds)

E.  Time to process

Categories for Top Chef:

Pickles & Relishes

Fruits & Vegetables

Jam & Jellies

Any questions, please call or e mail.

Additional Notes:

1) If you are not present, you can send the item to be judged with a paragraph or two with details on how you processed, made and any other details.

2) How about donating the item to the NJHA auction after judging is complete? We are not responsible for the item after judging.

For questions, please contact the Project Chair.


National Award Winners: Up to three National Award Winner contestants may be chosen to receive a medal in each of the four age divisions. National Award Winners are eligible to return for competition the following year in the same age category.

Grand National Award Winner: One Grand National Award Winner may be chosen to receive a medal in each of the age categories. Grand National Award Winner in the 15-18 year old category may return the following year in the 19-22 year old category, even though he or she may not be 19 years old. Only Grand National winners in the 15-18 and 19-22 age categories may receive a cash award up to $100.00.

If there are no entries or entries are not of sufficient quality, an award may not be given.

Awards Sponsor

Stan and Mary Stark
N 1196 Rich Road
Watertown, WI 53098
Phone: (920) 201 – 7355
Cell: (920) 342 – 3219

Entry Deadline

For additional information, consult the project chairperson:

Mary Stark
N1196 Rich Road
Watertown, WI 53098
Phone: (920) 261-7355 – Cell 920 342-3219

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