South Carolina State Beverage – Milk

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South Carolina State Beverage – Milk

The official state beverage of South Carolina is milk. Act 360 of the 1984 General Assembly stated that dairy farmers could be found in all but seven counties in South Carolina, making it a multi-million dollar industry for our state.

Milk production in SC has since dropped considerably, but around 90 dairy farms still exist in our state.1 These farms, located mainly in the Midlands and Upstate, raise goats and cows for milk production. Milk has been designated the official state beverage for 20 states, making it by far the most popular choice in America.

A Glass of Milk
A Glass of Milk

Most of us understand that milk usually comes from cows, but milk can also come from goats and other animals – buffalo, camels, donkeys, horses, sheep, yaks, and even reindeer. It is estimated that cows produce around 90% of the world's milk supply. All cows are female; males are referred to as bulls. Cows cannot produce milk until they have given birth to a calf.

A cow's udders can hold between 25 and 50 pounds of milk at one time. In order to produce so much milk, they must eat around 90 pounds of food per day! Cows who eat only grass do not produce as much milk as those who eat a combined diet of grass, corn, and hay.

The Coburg Cow, Charleston
The Coburg Cow, Charleston

Cheese, yogurt, and ice cream are just a few of the many products that can be made using milk. Clemson is famous around the state for its delicious blue cheese, "Clemson Blue," and for the milkshakes made in the university's own MicroCreamery.

Milk and Cookies Foods Made from Milk Bowls of Ice Cream
Milk and Cookies Foods Made from Milk Ice Cream

Split Creek Farm, in Anderson, uses goat's milk to produce cheese, fudge, and even soap. Charleston's Coburg Dairy is well known for its mascot (pictured above) who can be seen wearing seasonal outfits throughout the year.

  1. Statistical information provided by James Williamson, Jr. of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental control in August 2008.

More about Milk

Charleston's Coburg Cow

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