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New video released documenting Drop Collaborative

Unaka agricultural teacher Josh Armentrout works with a student involved with the Carter Cares summer program.

Unaka agricultural teacher Josh Armentrout works with a student involved with the Carter Cares summer program.

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.”
The school system has also received a round of credit, Meyer said, who thanked Carter County Director of Schools Dr. Kevin Ward, the county Board of Education, and the faculty at Unaka High School. Along with the work from the school system, Meyer thanked Emily Bidgood and the Appalachian RC&D Council — which sponsors the Drop Collaborative — and David Robbins.
Meyer recently sent out an email to the program’s supporters about the progress of year two of the Drop Collaborative with a link to a video, stating, “What a tremendous first year we have had and we couldn’t have done it without you. We invite you to take a few minutes to view this brief video we produced of the story of the Drop Collaborative — including our milestones and bright future, thanks to all of you.”
The Drop Collaborative was established in 2015 with a mission to continue supporting and maintaining the “excellence of the Unaka High collaboration” — along with reaching out to other communities and landowners to see the different resources to create their own Drop Collaborative.
Utilizing a presence online is nothing out of the ordinary for Meyer, with Edge City Design, who created the three-minute video showcasing the current status of the farm.
“It leaves you speechless, really,” Meyer said about the current progression. The video, which can be viewed at the program’s website, dropcollaborative.com, features information on Mr. Drop and a variety of other individuals and organizations, including Northeast Tennessee Second Harvest Food Bank, Dr. Loveless, Armentrout, Unaka High School, Austin Taylor, Chandler Thomas, Tennessee Department of Education, Chelsea Parker, Lowe’s, Perkins Grant, head start children, Chik-fil-A, Pizza Inn, Pizza Hutt, Margaret Meyer, River Gardens Landscaping, Bidgood, Noah Pippin and Timothy Browning.
Meyer added the video was provided as a synopsis to help spread the word of the Drop Collaborative to surrounding counties. The initiative received a statewide audience with Meyer and Co. presenting the program to the Tennessee Department of Education. The program is currently in the top five of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Models by the department.
“It’s such a community-oriented program,” Meyer said. “We hope this program can ultimately be used across the country with other Drop Collaboratives. The program can even be used in an urban setting under certain circumstances.”
While the program begins to look ahead at year three, Meyer added that excitement is around the bend.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” she said about the future. “But there are so many different possibilities moving forward. We’re hoping to even use this as a small business-model … being able to incorporate more on an economic level while continuing to be a program to mentor to the youth and allow an opportunity to learn and have mentorship under the staff at Unaka High School.”
Visit vimeo.com/197473911 for a direct link to the video. For more information, individuals are encouraged to either view the Drop Collaborative website or the The Drop Collaborative Facebook page online.