Small Farming Big Solutions

Be Part of the Solution

Over the past 70 years across Appalachia we have all faced the phenomenon of the decline of the family farm...the family farm has virtually disappeared from these communities. But what if there is another way? 


Ron Roach, Ph.D.

Chair of Appalachian Studies

East Tennessee State University

What is the Drop Collaborative?

The Drop Collaborative is an award-winning farming, workforce development and community wealth-building initiative designed to:

  • educate

  • promote workforce development

  • support the local food sector

  • facilitate productive regional collaboration among the local business, educational and non-profit sectors.

Our program teaches agricultural skills while addressing the regional issue of food scarcity by donating our harvest to the community.

We work with participating non-profits, educational institutions and other local associations to appropriately adapt and scale the Drop Collaborative’s educational curriculum according to the needs of their unique community.

Since our start in 2015, the Drop Collaborative has quickly demonstrated the programs power. 

▶︎  Named one of the top five Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs by the Tennessee Department of Education


▶︎  Donated over 3000 lbs of food to the community.   


▶︎  Mentored over 200 participants through partnerships with Unaka High School, K-2 Carter County Public Schools and Recovery Soldiers, a faith-based addiction recovery program.

▶︎  2017 TACD Conservation Promotion Award (Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts)

Through the years, I’ve seen many initiatives in education come and go, but never before have I seen something as powerful as this Drop Collaborative and realize that there are endless opportunities for our students, our school, and our community.

Dr. Melissa Loveless

Unaka High School, CTE Principal


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