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


Average: 4 (357 votes)

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).




how is soda your last thing on the list?Soda is awsome.


yeah why


milk is the bomb




I agree to that CHEER WINE is the best


I have nothing against the dairy industry, but why isn't the state drink of NC something that was started here, like Pepsi, Cheerwine, or Sun Drop? Yeah, they may not be as beneficial to health as Milk, but at least we can say they were invented here. Besides, it's not like we're as known for our dairy as Wisconsin, Vermont, or California. (Although it wouldn't be a bad thing if other dairy companies here in NC would follow in suit with Ashe County Cheese company and put our little southern-fried haven on the Cheese-a-holic's map.)


While I am an avid milk drinker I think the State Beverage should be changed to Cheerwine!


how did milk become so good


milk is so good


Yay this is dilicus

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