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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).




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.


Oh man and here I thought Cheerwine was the official state beverage. Thanks again for all of the awesome facts and teaching me something new. I know how much work goes into this site and do appreciate all you do.


were are the facts


It needs to tell us what state it is and what


its for north carolina


this is for N.C (aka) North Carolina :)


I'm not 100% sure of what you are asking. Are you looking for information about dairy production and cows in the state of North Carolina? The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has stastics on that, and even gives reports for each county. The 2011 guide is online at

If you are looking for specific information, please feel free to contact Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library. Their contact information may be found at

Good luck in your research,

Michelle Underhill


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