North Dakota State Beverage


North Dakota State Beverage: Milk

Adopted in 1983.

North Dakota is one of several states that designated milk the official beverage. By official designation, the Legislative Assembly recognized the importance of North Dakota's dairy industry. North Dakota ranks 32nd among milk-producing states. Milk was adopted as North Dakota State Beverage in 1983.

Did you know that: Milk has been proclaimed the official state beverage or drink in each of the following states:

State Symbol: Milk

Arkansas | Delaware | Louisiana | Minnesota | Mississippi | Nebraska
New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Oregon | Oklahoma | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Vermont | Virginia | Wisconsin

North Dakota State Beverage: Milk

North Dakota

North Dakota State Beverage: Milk

North Dakota milk production during the January-March quarter totaled 143 million pounds, according to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service. Production was up 3 million pounds from the October-December 2002 quarter, but down 5 million pounds when compared to the January-March quarter in 2002. The average number of milk cows during the quarter decreased 1,000 head from the last quarter to 37,000. Milk produced per cow averaged 3,870 pounds, up from 3,680 pounds last quarter and 3,600 pounds during the January-March 2002 quarter.

  • In the state of North Dakota, there are about 105 licensed dairy herds.
  • North Dakota dairy farms produced approximately 40 million gallons of milk in 2013.
  • North Dakota farms generate approximately $65 million in milk sales annually.
  • North Dakota is the 35th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • In North Dakota, the average dairy cow produces about 6 gallons of milk per day. That's more than 2,209 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • North Dakota has 4 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.


United States

Milk production in the US during the January-March quarter totaled 43.0
billion pounds, up 1.3 percent from the January-March quarter last year.
The average number of milk cows in the US during the quarter was 9.16
million head, 43,000 head more than the same period last year.

Ever wonder where delicious milk comes from? It all starts with healthy, well-fed cows that live on farms all around America the beautiful.

  • All cows are females (males are called bulls).
  • A cow can't give milk until she's given birth to a calf.
  • Cows provide 90% of the world's milk supply.
  • A cow's udder can hold 25-50 pounds of milk at a time - no wonder she's so eager to be milked - and a cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.

Can You Say, "I'm Full?"
Cows are BIG eaters. Did you know that cows have four stomachs and eat 90 pounds of food a day? That's probably more than you weigh! A cow that chows on only grass can make 50 glasses of milk a day. But one that eats grass, corn and hay can make 100 glasses of milk a day!

Milk has a long and rich history. For example, did you know?

  1. Sanskrit records mentioned milk 6,000 years ago.
  2. The Bible describes the Promised Land as Aa land flowing with milk and honey."
  3. The Greek physician Hippocrates recommended milk as a medicine some 2,300 years ago.
  4. Christopher Columbus brought cattle to the New World on his second voyage.
  5. It has been said that one reason for the high death rate among those who traveled to the New World on the Mayflower was that they had no fresh milk to drink.
  6. Cows were brought from Europe to the Jamestown colony in 1611 and to the Plymouth colony in 1624.
  7. Cheese was an important item in the diet of the Vikings, who from about the 8th to the 10th century sailed the seas on long voyages.
  8. Cheese was an article of commerce in ancient Rome. Monks developed the art of cheese making in Europe in the Middle Ages.

North Dakota Law

The law designating milk as the official North Dakota state beverage is found in the North Dakota Revised Statutes, Title 54, Chapter 54-02, Section 54-02-12

Title 54
Section 54-02-16. State beverage.

54-02-12. State beverage. Milk is the official beverage of the state of North Dakota.

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