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 (362 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).




4 sentences really


my favorite drink list from best to worst
1. flavored water
2. orange juice juice


bruh where da facts?


cheerwine cheerwine cheerwine


u need some milk


this is what i need. i need when and why it was designated and additional facts about milk


Hi, Christian.

Milk was decreed the state beverage on June 12, 1987. The short Senate bill (read it in its entirety at does not specify the reasons for this designation. However, it is easy to imagine that one of several reasons (or some combination of them) could be given for milk's selection: North Carolina has a large dairy industry, and making milk the state beverage is a way to promote this industry; milk has many health benefits; quite a few other states with dairy industries have also designated milk as their state beverage. I hope this is helpful.

You can learn more about the nutritional value of milk here:

Mike Millner, NC Government and Heritage Library 


why was milk designated to be the state beverage


what is cheerwine ?



That's a great question!  Check out this NCpedia article on that very topic:

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

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