In national politics contests between Senators and Representatives often require conferences, vetoes and filibusters. But at least once a year in the Tarheel State the competition between State Senators and Representatives is settled in a more civilized fashion.
On June 12, N.C. State Senate and General Assembly legislator teams went head to head opposite each other in the annual Legislative Milk Chugging Contest and Ice Cream Social.
June is National Dairy Month, which makes it fitting that members of the N.C. General Assembly take this break from serious legislative matters and have some good laughs and down home fun. The contest, sponsored by the N.C. Dairy Industry Promotion Committee, was held this year under the North Portico of the Legislative Building in Raleigh. There the two teams of hand-picked Senators and Representatives wielded both straws and dignified puckers to see which could finish six pints of milk in the fastest time.
The Senate Super Sippers took the honors this year and donated their $200 prize to the N.C. Friends of Agriculture Foundation. The winning team was comprised by Sen. Andrew Brock, Sen. Don East, Sen. Brent Jackson and alternate member, Sen. Bob Atwater.
Their competition, the House All Stars, who were competing for the House 4-H Foundation, were comprised of Rep. William Brisson, Rep. Dewey Hill and Rep. Efton Sagar.
But the milk chugging was just the beginning of the festivities this year, which were designed to celebrate not only at the dairy industry but also the state's livestock industries in general. After the contest attendees enjoyed free ice cream samples. The N.C. Pork Council also provided free sausage and ham biscuits to attendees across from the Legislative Building on the Halifax Mall and the N.C. Cattlemen's Association handed out roast beef sandwiches. The N.C. Dairy Industry Promotion Committee gave away free milk to go with both the biscuits and the roast beef sandwiches.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services notes that the state has 290 dairy farms, consisting of 45,000 milk cows that produce more than 100 million gallons of milk annually. The state leads the Southeast for most milk production per cow and produces 15.9 million gallons of ice cream annually.
The state is the second largest pork producer in the nation with $2.2 billion in cash receipts.
Cattle produce $255 million in total agricultural cash receipts in North Carolina each year.