Several members of North Carolina’s General Assembly competed in a milk-chugging contest this week. The annual contest and ice cream break are held to celebrate and raise awareness about the dairy industry in North Carolina.

“Whether it’s milk, butter, cheese or ice cream, North Carolina dairy products make a large economic impact on the state,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. “Milk production alone is valued at more than $191 million.”

Rep. Dewey Hill of Whiteville and Sen. Bob Atwater of Chapel Hill, who chair the General Assembly’s agriculture committees, led their three-person teams in a relay race to see which team can finish off six pints of milk in the fastest time. The team lead by Sen. Bob Atwater of Chapel Hill won this year’s contest.

The first-place team received $200 for a charity of its choice, and the second-place team received $100 for its selected charity.

The event was held on the last day of June, at the end of dairy month and a day before the celebration of ice cream month starts in July.

North Carolina has 290 dairy farms with 45,000 milk cows that produced about 107 million gallons of milk in 2008. The state leads the Southeast for most milk production per cow. In addition, the N.C. dairy industry produces 15.9 million gallons of ice cream annually.

For more information read: Senate takes milk-chugging title

Source: North Carolina Department of Agriculture