The County of Ashe was traditionally known for its agriculture and textile economy but time has changed the look of the county's industrial partnerships. The industrial economy is seeing the expansion of the current GE Aviation plant and American Emergency Vehicles purchasing a new facility large enough for future expansion. Ashe County provides great diversification in the industrial industry with businesses that include but not limited to Ashe County Cheese, Dr. Pepper Bottling Company, Southeastern Specialty Vehicles, Elk Creek Lumber, and McFarland Publishing.
Agriculture still plays a vital part in the lives of people in Ashe County. Ashe County is the largest Christmas tree producer in the nation. The beauty of our Christmas trees have adorned the White House at least seven times. Ashe County farmers also produce cattle, tobacco, locally-grown produce, pumpkins, and numerous other crops. The local foods movement has expanded in the County over the past decade, with increasing desire in the High Country to consume healthy, locally grown goods.
Tourism continues to play a large role in the economy of Ashe County. People are drawn to Ashe County with the beautiful mountain scenery, various outdoor activities, and West Jefferson's art scene. Tourists have added to our local economy with retail sales growing to over 238$ million dollars.