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by Steven Case and T. Mike Childs
NC Government & Heritage Library, 2007. Updated 2011.


Color photograph of a milk carton from Hunter Jersey Farms, Inc., Charlotte, N.C. From the collections of the North Carolina Museum of History. Used courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The General Assembly adopted milk as the official State Beverage on June 12, 1987. (Session Laws, 1987, c. 347).

In making milk the official state beverage, North Carolina followed 17 other states, including both South Carolina and Virginia.

The number of milk cows and milk production in North Carolina declined between 2000 and 2010.

The designation was requested by the state Milk Commission (established in 1947), and introduced by Senator Aaron W. Plyler, a Democrat from Union County. It became law on June 12, 1987. At that time, North Carolina cows produced 179 million gallons of milk a year.



Map of dairy cows


References and additional resources:

Agricultural Statistics: 2010 Annual Statistics Book. NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Online at

NASS QuickStats Search Page (Statistics from the USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service).

Associated Press. “Senator finds milk hard to swallow.” The New Bern Sun-Journal. April 30, 1987. A11.

Image Credits:

[Hunter Jersey Farms, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., milk carton]. Photograph. Item H.1993.482.26North Carolina Museum of History. (accessed December 11, 2014).




thank you I am doing an nc project and this website really helps


i am doing a project to and this really helped me to so thank you.


when did it become the state beverage


As it states in the article, the law was passed June 12, 1987.

Mike Childs, NCpedia, N.C. Government & Heritage Library


do you take a vote to see what drink would be the official state drink?


where are the facts


that's what I'm saying


Just let us know what information you're looking for, and we'll assist.

T. Mike Childs, NCpedia, N.C. Government & Heritage Library.


Let us know what additional facts you are looking for, and we will try and find them.


Mike Childs, Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.


Yes, there was a vote to approve milk as the official state beverage. But it doesn't mean there were any other contenders for the title.

Mike Childs, Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.


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