Vermont State Beverage


Vermont State Beverage: Milk

(lac vaccum)

Adopted on April 22, 1983.

Legislation signed by Governor Richard A. Snelling declared milk the official state beverage in 1983.

Dairy farming affects the lives of every Vermonter and has for generations. You can't drive far in Vermont without being treated to a vista of grazing cows and beautiful barns. Along with these sites come hardworking people who raise the herds and create the delicious and nutritious products we enjoy. Vermont is proud to be a dairy state. Vermont farmers produce top quality milk that reaches your table as cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter.

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

Vermont State Beverage: Milk

Vermont State Beverage: Milk

Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. It also contains many other nutrients.

Dairy is synonymous with Vermont. From the colorful post cards to the images on Ben and Jerry's ice cream containers to famous Cabot Cheese to the images of the Vermont fall pastoral scenes with cows grazing on the hillsides, dairy is the Vermont image held by the nation. This is no accident as dairy is the 800 pound gorilla in Vermont agriculture. Dairy is number-one in agricultural sales in Vermont since 1900 when dairy cows replaced sheep on Vermont's pastures. Dairy annually accounts for 70-80 percent of Vermont's agricultural sales, making it the number one state in the United States in its dependency on one commodity. However, dairy is undergoing some troubling times, raising questions about its future in Vermont. With depressed dairy economic conditions, the gorilla is still dominant in the state and will be around in the coming years - although likely at a different scale than its former healthy 800 pound image.

Vermont currently produces 2.3 billion pounds of milk annually from 135,000 dairy cows on about 1,000 dairy farms and the state ranks 16th nationally in milk production. One unique aspect of Vermont's milk production is that with such a small population, Vermont must export about 85 percent of its milk to other states.

Vermont No. 22 of the Acts of 1983

No. 22 of the Acts of 1983, effective April 22, 1983, designated milk as the official State Beverage.

In a state where cows once outnumbered people, milk production in the Green Mountain state remains the leading agricultural enterprise, the total value of production having reached $307.9 million in 1980 - four and a half times that of 1950.

Although the number of milk cows in Vermont has generally declined in this century, improved breeding and feeding techniques have allowed milk production per cow to more than double in the last thirty years alone, making the 1980s the highest total production years on record, averaging 2.3 billion pounds of milk per year.

Besides being highly regarded as a naturally nutritious beverage, the wholesomeness of milk itself reflects some of the appealing qualities of rural life.

The rolling pastures of Vermont's dairy farms and hillside fields dotted with cows are sights that delight Vermonters and visitors alike and help sustain the beauty of Vermont's countryside.

From Office of the Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual, Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 19.

Where milk comes from and how it's made. 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!

Vermont Law

The law designating the milk as the official Vermont state beverage is found in the Vermont Statutes, Title 1 Chapter 11, Section 503.

1 V.S.A. § 503 (2012)

§ 503. State beverage

The state beverage shall be milk.

HISTORY: Added 1983, No. 22, § 1, eff. April 22, 1983.


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