Drop Collaborative holding seven-day fund raising event for raised bed gardening material



ELIZABETHTON — The Drop Collaborative has launched a 7-day fund drive to get its raised platform garden beds in time for spring planting and to help provide food during the nascent coronavirus (COVID-19) response program: the DC Action Network.

The Drop Collaborative is working to teach the fundamentals of agriculture to a new generation, while harvesting the food raised by the students to organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank to help ease hunger in the region.

Drop Collaborative responds to COVID-19 by continuing current missions



ELIZABETHTON — The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has not changed the mission of the Drop Collaborative.

“We continue our current missions,” a statement on the organization’s website says. The organization is a dedicated to encouraging a new generation of farmers, while using the crops and livestock produced on the farm in Stoney Creek to feed the poor and hungry.

The statement on the webpage continues: “Our immediate goal for us is to grow and produce as much harvest as we can to donate and feed our community. We will get through this together and continue to post updates on our progress, resources, and community. We will get through this together and continue to post updates on out progress, resources and community initiatives on our website and social media.”

Venable named winner of Drop Collaborative art contest

JOHN THOMPSON • MAY 21, 2019 AT 9:06 PM


ELIZABETHTON — The Drop Collaborative has announced the winner of the art contest that will use illustrations for a 12-page coloring book.

Drop Collaborative holding coloring book contest for high school students

By Amber Wadovick

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Published 8:03 am Friday, March 29, 2019

Carter County’s Drop Collaborative is seeking up and coming artists for a future project, and they are hosting a contest in order to do it.

Drop Collaborative seeking high school illustrator for coloring book

JOHN THOMPSON • MAR 5, 2019 AT 11:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Drop Collaborative, the organization responsible for providing a Stoney Creek farm for the educational use of Carter County students, is seeking a high school student who is an illustrator/graphic artist to create the images for the children’s coloring book: “The Story of the Drop Collaborative.”

Building Careers: CTE programs help prepare students for careers after school

By Abby Morris-Frye

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Published 7:00 pm Friday, February 16, 2018

"John Hardin teaches the Agriculture curriculum which includes the Meat Science program as well as the Drop Farm Collaborative. In the Meat Science program, the students learn butcher skills by slaughtering and processing animals into the cuts of meat consumers find at the grocery story. The Drop Farm Collaborative serves as a Supervised Agriculture Experience where students work and manage a farm raising livestock and growing crops. The farm also serves as an educational program to introduce younger students to farming. Food raised at the farm is donated to local food banks and non-profits to benefit the community."

Drop Collaborative / UHS students donate beef to Shepherd’s Inn

By Abby Morris-Frye

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Published 3:52 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018


A group of local students recently turned their hard work and dedication into an incredible gift for a local non-profit organization.

The agriculture program at Unaka High School donated around 400 pounds of beef products and several gift bags of toys and other items for children to The Shepherd’s Inn, which is a domestic violence and temporary homeless shelter for women and children in Carter County.

Drop Farm brings smiles to niece of man who founded it

JOHN THOMPSON • OCT 13, 2017 AT 10:47 PM


ELIZABETHTON — Friday was a great day to visit the Drop Farm in Stoney Creek, and students from Carter County schools enjoyed visiting with the cows and sheep, riding in the tractor seat and lots of other parts of farm life.

It was a scene that John Drop had thought was important in the increasing urbanization of America. He had spoken about this desire when his niece, Pattie Meyer, had come down from her Philadelphia advertising company to visit him. He also thought that the farm could be used not only to educate students, but the produce could be used to help those in the country who were hungry.

Meyer listened to her uncle's dream and she tried to fulfill them for her beloved uncle after he died. It was appropriate that Meyer was on the farm Friday and saw the children enjoying this special classroom that "teaches them a tomato does not come from the grocery store."

Kindergarten students visit Drop Farm in Stoney Creek

By Abby Morris-Frye,  Elizabethton Star October 13, 2017

As the sunlight fell across the fields and buildings, the sounds of children’s laughter rang through the air at the Drop Farm on Stoney Creek Friday morning.

Kindergarten students from Unaka and Hunter Elementary schools spent a day at the Drop Farm learning about animals and farming. The farm is part of the Drop Collaborative, a unique project between Carter County Schools and the family of the late John C. and Patti Drop, whose dream was to see their farm used to teach farming, give back to the community and mentor young children.

After John and Patti Drop passed away, their farm on Dry Hollow Road in Stoney Creek passed to Patti Drop’s sister, Frances Meyer. In trying to decide what to do with the farm, Frances and her daughter, Pattie Meyer, developed the idea of turning the farm into an education center and way to serve the community. 

Drop Farm finds a summer mission in Planting Seeds of Change

JOHN THOMPSON • AUG 2, 2017 AT 8:31 AM

ELIZABETHTON — When John C. Drop conceived of turning his Stoney Creek farm into an educational laboratory to teach school students about farming and food production, there was not much thought about how the farm could help during the summer, when students were out of school.

But there was a need the farm has been able to meet during its most productive time of the year.

"Planting Seeds of Change" was developed between Melissa Loveless, career technical education principal at Unaka high School and Ben Cole, program director for Recovery Soldiers Ministries.

Recovery Soldier Ministries is a faith-based 12-month recovery program for men who suffer from addiction.

Carter School Board recognizes technical education students

JOHN THOMPSON • MAY 18, 2017 AT 9:37 PM

HAMPTON — With the fiscal year 2017-18 budget request already forwarded to the County Commission and the plans for the next school year already determined, the Carter County School Board devoted much of Thursday's meeting to recognizing students who distinguished themselves during the past school year.

"We have a great bunch of students in the Carter County School System," School Director Kevin Ward said. Ward was speaking to the board, but also to the students and their families who attended Thursday's meeting, which was held in the gymnasium of Hampton Elementary School. "The seniors have been a great group," Ward said.

A Day on the Farm: Elementary students visit Drop Farm to learn about agriculture

By Abby Morris-Frye,  Elizabethton Star  May 12, 2017

Some local elementary school students spent a day gettin’ down on the farm while learning about plants and animals.

The Drop Farm is a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) for the agriculture programs in the Carter County School System. The project was created by a partnership between the school system and Pattie Meyer, who inherited the farm from her uncle and aunt — John and Patti Drop. The Drop family wanted their farm to serve as a way to help educate future generations about farming and agriculture.


Meyer formed the Drop Collaborative and partnered with the Carter County School System to help bring her family’s dream to life.

The farm not only serves as a working farm but as an education experience.

It's like Farmville, but in real life: Carter County students visit Drop Farm

John Thompson • May 10, 2017 at 9:32 PM


ELIZABETHTON — Wednesday was a beautiful day to be outside, and Hunter Elementary School third-grade students and Unaka Elementary School first-graders spent the morning on the Drop Farm, a working farm that doubles as a teaching farm for students of the Carter County School System.

Unaka High School faculty members Melissa Loveless and Josh Armentrout, assisted by high school students in agricultural classes, helped teach the children about how a farm works and what it is like to live on a farm. Although many of the children live in a rural area, many have never spent any time on a farm.

Unaka High / Drop Collaborative Wins State Award for Conservation Education

Nashville, TN (PRWEB) March 27, 2017

The State's TACD 2017 Conservation Promotion Award winners, Unaka High / Drop Collaborative, accept their award at the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD) 73rd Annual Convention.

For 73 years the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts has annually given awards to educators who do an exemplary job of teaching others in their communities about conserving soil, water and all natural resources. The 2017 award for "Conservation Promotion" went to the Unaka High School / Drop Collaborative partnership. Accepting the award were Unaka High School teachers Josh Armentrout, Agriculture and Dr. Melissa Loveless, CTE Principal & Business Technology; Unaka High School Seniors: Jacob Rash and Austin Taylor; and Pattie Meyer, Executive Director, Drop Collaborative.


New video released documenting Drop Collaborative

By Curtis Carden, Elizabethton Star

Published 6:03 am Friday, January 20, 2017


ELIZABETHTON —  Honoring John Drop has steamrolled into a benefit for the community. The ability to do such a thing can quickly bring a smile to Pattie Meyer, executive director of the Drop Collaborative and niece of Drop. As the 2016-17 school year nears its conclusion, Meyer is able to look back at the second year of the farm as a success.

“It has been incredible,” Meyer said. “Just to see so much participation and sharing. That’s what it is all about … helping people and letting people help themselves. There’s so many people to thank. The curriculum created by Unaka High School has been great and that’s a credit to Dr. Melissa Lovelace and Josh Armentrout.”


Youngest students to visit Carter County's Drop Farm this month

John Thompson • Oct 4, 2016 at 9:09 PM


ELIZABETHTON — Most farms start to slow down this time of year, but the Drop Farm on Dry Hollow Road in Stoney Creek is starting to get busy, with some major visits next week.

The Drop Farm is a family-owned farm that has become a partner in an innovative effort with the Carter County School System to provide students with a chance to learn agriculture and other outdoor subjects while visiting a working farm.

Down on the Farm: State education official, students visit Drop Collaborative

Elizabethton Star, October 14, 2016, by Abby Morris-Frye

This Fall, students in the Headstart and Pre-K programs in the Carter County School System will be getting the chance to spend a day on the farm while learning about foods, animals and how a farm operates.

The Drop Collaborative project through the Career Technical Educational program at Unaka High School allows students in the agriculture class to expand their education by helping to run a working farm. The UHS students care for the animals, raise vegetables and keep the farm going.

Unaka High School, Lowe's Dig Deeper with Carter Cares

Thursday, June 16, 2016

With increased foot traffic in the summer, the Drop Collaborative recently had the opportunity to work with the future farmers of Carter County. Taking a moment to enjoy the summer heat and farm landscape, more than 15 children with the Carter Cares summer program visited Unaka High School’s Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) located on Dry Hollow Road in Stoney Creek Wednesday.

Drop Collaborative receives help from Lowe's



ELIZABETHTON — A newly established agricultural program for students of Unaka High School and the Carter County School System recently received commendation from the state Department of Education and is now receiving support from Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Commissioner visits Unaka High School

John Thompson • Apr 8, 2016 at 11:34 PM

ELIZABETHTON — An innovative agricultural program and significant improvements at Unaka High School has been noticed in Nashville recently. On Friday, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen took a short tour of the Unaka campus.

Education Commissioner to visit Unaka High School

John Thompson • Apr 5, 2016 at 4:38 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Students and faculty at Unaka High School are getting ready for a visit by Candice McQueen, commissioner of education for Tennessee. 

Drop Collaborative Program Recognized by the State


After watching a video that detailed the success of the first year of Unaka High School’s Drop Collaborative, Tennessee Department of Education officials have recognized the program and requested to use it as a best practice model for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the State.

Committee Hears about Unique Agricultural Program



The Education Committee of the Carter County Commission was briefed Monday night by vocational educators at Unaka High School about the Drop Collaborative, a new alliance between the Carter County School System and the heirs of John and Patty Drop.

The Drop Collaborative Requested as Model for CTE Training Best Practices by Department of Education, Tennessee


After viewing a video paying tribute to the Drop Collaborative's first year in review (check out the video at:­holidays.html), Heather Justice, Executive Director of CTE (Career and Technical Education) office of Tennessee's Department of Education, praised the Drop Collaborative and participating students' efforts. In addition to her approval of the program, Sharon Necessary, the Career and Technical Education Consultant in the First Tennessee CORE office, plans to share the video and highlight the Drop Collaborative in next month's CTE directors meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Sharon Necessary has also requested the Drop Collaborative be used as a best practice model for other CTE teachers state­wide.

Fun on the Farm



Painting pumpkins, hunting for toy animals in a haystack and making seed necklaces are just a few of the activities students from Unaka Elementary participated in at the Drop Collaborative Farm on Thursday.

Unaka High School students in Future Farmers of America and Supervised Agricultural Experience sponsored the event to give children an opportunity to have fun on a farm.

“This allows kids to see what farming is all about and to learn where their food comes from,” said SEA instructor Josh Armentrout.

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