Cave to Co-op March 2015: Ayersdale

raw cow milk
Bonnieview Farm, Craftsbury, Vermont
Neil Urie, cheesemaker

Bonnieview Farm is a sheep and cow dairy located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and has been in the Urie family for four generations. The farm is a mixture of rolling pasture, hay fields, and woods, where Neil, Kristin, Tressa Urie and the triplets live and farm. Neil’s great-grandfather first bought the farm in 1890, and it was primarily a cow dairy for many decades, with pigs and sheep and horses as well. Neil’s grandfather and father were both born at the farm. Neil bought Bonnieview Farm in 1995 from his uncle who was a traditional cow dairy farmer, because he did not want to see the farm leave the family.

The Urie’s milk 180 ewes that they rotationally graze from May to October and make three kinds of cheese with the milk. In August 2013 they started milking 15 cows. They raise lambs for meat, and make various products with their wool and sell individual fleeces to spinners. In addition to the sheep, they have a breeding pair of pigs, a flock of laying hens, two cows, a llama, a dog and a cat.

As Neil has expanded his farm to include more cows, he has gradually developed three types; cheese made from 100% raw sheep milk, cheese from 100% raw cow milk and now he has launched a mixed milk category. Ayersdale is a 100% raw cow milk cousin of Bonnieview’s sheep milk Coomersdale. Made with the milk from their 15 grass-fed cows, Ayersdale is buttery and smooth, with slightly more tang than Coomersdale.

Delicious on its own, Ayersdale works beautifully in the kitchen, as you will see!


Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 20 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit