House vs. Senate showdown at Legislative Dairy Day

by | Jun 21, 2024

It’s that time of year again! 2024’s Legislative Dairy Day took place this week, bringing back a playful rivalry between the House and Senate in the form of a milk-chugging contest. This event, organized by Representative Jeffrey McNeely and lobbyist Angie Maier, helps bring awareness to the state’s dairy industry.

“The milk-chugging contest is a long and adored tradition here at the General Assembly,” said Maier. “What better time to come together than June—National Dairy Month.”

Maier setting up for the milk-chugging contest with help from daughter Amelia.

Milk provided by Maola

North Carolina is home to 120 dairy farms and about 38,000 dairy cows that produce an average of 8.9 gallons of milk per day. The total amount of milk produced in 2023 equaled 107 million gallons.

“It’s truly amazing what these dairy farmers and herds can do. Their nutrition and genetics have only improved,” said McNeely. “Plus, dairy milk hydrates better than Gatorade.”

That is indeed correct! It is also a great workout recovery drink. It contains ingredients like electrolytes, protein and fat that allow our bodies to hold on to fluids longer, keeping us more hydrated over an extended period.

Towels and cowbells at the event

The milk-chugging contest is a relay where teams of four competing on behalf of the House and Senate stand on opposite sides of a table, showdown style. The first competitors must slam their finished cup of milk on the table before the challenge can be passed to the next teammate. Spillage of any kind is against the rules and will get called out by fellow competitors and audience members, even the smallest dribble.

Let the competition begin

Allison Dahle of Team House gets ready to chug

McNeely there to catch the dribble

“The participants are always extremely competitive, sometimes chugging so fast they get brain freezes,” said meat and dairy marketing specialist Jack Nales. “Winners vary each year so it’s really anyone’s game.”

Congratulations to this year’s winners from Team Senate: Senators Mike Woodard, Eddie Settle, Ted Alexander and staff member James Von Canon III. Their reward was, of course, bragging rights.

“If you’re going to take your shot at the king, you better not miss,” said Woodard, now a five-time milk-chugging champion.

A full video of the contest can be found at this link, courtesy of @jacknales on Instagram.

Team Senate left to right: Von Canon, Woodard, Settle and Alexander

Woodard celebrating his five wins

Although unable to come out on top this year, a valiant effort was put forth by Team House: Representatives Jeffrey McNeely, Alison Dahle, Caleb Rudow and staff member Juan Pleitez. Following the competition, the crowd was given tasty cups of strawberry and chocolate Howling Cow ice cream—the perfect treat for a blazing hot summer day.

“Giving away free ice cream is probably one of the best things around,” said McNeely. Ice cream is the second most consumed dairy product in North Carolina.

McNeely arranging ice cream

Ice cream provided by Howling Cow

Both teams can’t wait to continue the tradition and go head-to-head in milk-chugging again next Legislative Dairy Day. In case you missed it from this past April, check out DJ Burns’ visit to the NC State Dairy Farm here.