by Steven Case
Government & Heritage Library , 2007. Updated 2011.
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. Pryler, 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.
References and additional resources:
Agricultural Statistics: 2010 Annual Statistics Book. NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Online at http://www.ncagr.gov/stats/2010AgStat/index.htm 
NASS QuickStats Search Page  (Statistics from the USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service).
Resources in Worldcat .
Associated Press. “Senator finds milk hard to swallow.” The New Bern Sun-Journal. April 30, 1987. A11.
1 February 2000 | Case, Steven; Childs, Mike