High Country Association of REALTORS News

A cheesy new look in downtown West Jefferson

Ashe County Cheese cowsThe home of Ashe County Cheese has a moooooooo look. And it's udderly bovine.

Last week the West Jefferson landmark made some hay with a major alteration. What were once three large, bland, plain holding tanks outside the factory are now three decorative metal heifers. All it took was an artist's inspiration, the welding class at the high school, and efforts to milk their labor for all it's worth. Moove over frescos. Downtown art has raised the hoof.


The project, designed by Stephen Willingham of The Artist’s Theater, was a larger piece in a beautification project commissioned by Mark Everhart of Ashe County Cheese.

“Mike came to me and commissioned me to put together a plan to update the exterior of the cheese plant,” said Willingham. “I stewed on it for a couple weeks and came up with the idea for the cow’s heads on the tanks.” ...

The construction of the steel cows’ heads was overseen by Rusty Rogers, a welding instructor at Ashe County High School. His Welding II class spent nearly a month on their construction.