The Drop Collaborative (DC) is a Community Wealth-Building Initiative.

Designed to educate, innovate, match and combine local resources while addressing food scarcity - on our site or yours.

     Utilizing DC’s missions and goals, each DC initiative is adapted and scaled appropriately for the needs of the local community.      

     DC is an award-winning initiative recognized for their curriculum and approach by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts.     

Current Initiatives

DC & Kids Like Us Collaboration

“When the world is focused on the disability, we focus on the possibility.”


Utilizing Kids Like Us approximately 2 acre flat land behind their school, the Drop Collaborative (DC), will utilize DC’s missions and goals - Teach Farming, Donate Harvest, Mentor Youth and adapted appropriately for their community.


In addition to these goals, the DC’s agricultural curriculum workforce development component will build the inter-organizational skills necessary to reach Kids Like Us 10-year goal of developing a self-sustaining, holistic gated communities for Kids Like Us participants in which fresh food and agricultural products are grown, consumed, stored and sold.


Free Coloring Book & Crayons


All kindergarten-age children in the area* to get the

free coloring book

"The Story of the Drop Collaborative"

that teaches farming & community service

plus free crayons

with the  illustrated by local artist, Maria Venable.





The ARC&D was chartered in 1994 to enhance rural economic development while conserving natural resources in Northeastern Tennessee. Because the organization serves a region with a poverty rate higher than the national average, it operates under the belief that conservation of our natural and environmental assets, including agricultural assets, leads to regional prosperity.  The ARC&D’s approach to tackling food and farm prosperity in Northeastern Tennessee is through direct service to small and medium-size agricultural entrepreneurs, many of whom are limited resource. ARC&D serves clients through direct consulting, grant writing, and training on issues that include diversifying farm income, conservation easements, and on-farm tourism.  Additionally, ARC&D was at the forefront of the NE TN “Buy Local” movement, promoting farm products through two ongoing large scale campaigns, the Quilt Trail (, and ( to bring attention to the wealth of products grown and crafted in NE TN and to provide opportunities for growers to diversify their products and their markets.

David L. Robbins, Esq. Born and raised on a family farm in rural Pennsylvania, David spent his youth raising market steers, lambs, pigs and poultry through his involvement in his local 4H Chapter and his High School FFA Chapter. In 2000, David was elected President of the Clearfield County 4H club and was elected to serve as Vice-President of the Clearfield FFA Chapter in 2001. By 2002, David had shown exemplary progress in his work through his Supervised Agricultural Experience and was awarded the Keystone Degree by the Pennsylvania State FFA. After graduating high school, David went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from The Pennsylvania State University and later a Law Degree from The Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia before settling down in Northeast Tennessee to open his own solo law practice. David practiced in Carter County, Tennessee from 2009 until 2014 when he was hired at Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee, LLP in Johnson City, Tennessee to head up their probate practice and lend a hand in civil litigation matters. He is now a partner at Brandt & Robbins, PC in Johnson City, Tennessee. and currently lives in Elizabethton.

The Department of Appalachian Studies at ETSU is the only Academic department of its kind in the United States.  It extends the mission of the Center of Excellence in Appalachian Studies and Services, which has existed since 1984.  Though one third of the state of Tennessee falls within the Appalachian region, ETSU is the only four-year institution in the state whose mission is to serve the Appalachian region.  ETSU embraces its regional setting and proudly reflects its traditional roots and Appalachian heritage.  ETSU's location in the heart of Appalachia positions it to capitalize on the region as a laboratory for research, service learning, active community work, and building collections.  The Department, established in 2008, houses the Bachelor of Arts in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies, along with three minors — Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies; Appalachian Studies;  and Environmental Studies.  The Department is also home to the study-abroad program in Appalachian, Scottish, and Irish Studies (ASIS).  -  Ron Roach, Ph.D​., Chair, Department of Appalachian Studies

Edge City Design, LLC - Creatives, Production, Marketing & Sales

Our team has created, implemented, and marketed scores of award-winning video, audio, print and web productions ⎯ for entrepreneurs, non-profits and major corporations. We offer all our expertise all under one virtual roof ⎯ consistency, exceptional customer service, save time, save money ⎯ achieve your goals! We can produce from idea to execution or work where needed alongside you and/or your team. ​

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Nancy Ploeger, Fred Johnson, Adam Dickson, Victoria Grace Hewlett, Ron Roach, Dr. Becky Fletcher, Laura Bucko, Ashley Bevensee, Unaka High School, Carter County Board of Education, Taylor Malone, Sue Sarcheck, Margaret Meyer, Charlotte Markland, Lawrence Pierce, Autum Martin and the Carter County Community

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DC provides course curriculum and partner resources, as well as your community becoming a member of our research and development hub. 


DC is scalable to any size/type of property or participants - in urban, suburban, rural & exurban settings.



​Learn about the economic benefits to the participants and the community.




     JOIN THE TEAM    



​DC is always seeking Undergraduate & Graduate Students to expand our outreach to other communities / landowners and to develop new community models utilizing the four principles:




John C. Drop ('Uncle John'), a retired Belleville NJ police officer, relocated to Elizabethton, TN and loved spending countless hours on his farm.


'Uncle John' often spoke to his niece, Pattie Meyer, about how it would be a wonderful place to teach young people farming, donate their harvest to the community, and mentor younger children about the whole process while introducing them to farm life. 

Implementing the vision of John C. Drop, Frances Meyer, heir to the farm and originally a native of Carter County, the Drop Collaborative was born.


Click here to learn more about the life of John C. Drop from this article with insights by his wife, Patti Drop, appearing in the Elizabethton Star newspaper.


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