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Oklahoma State Beverage / Drink

Milk   Adopted: May 22, 1985, May 06, 2002
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Milk was adopted as a symbol of the State of Oklahoma twice!

In 1985, milk was adopted as the official state "beverage" by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2.

In 2002, milk was adopted as the official state "drink" by House Bill No. 2110.

Milk's first brush with officialdom was in 1985, as mentioned, with the introduction of a concurrent resolution in the Oklahoma Senate. This resolution proposed that milk be declared the "official beverage of the State of Oklahoma."

Reading of the resolution tells us that the resolution was supported by the owners of the Sooner "J" Dairy, Associated Milk Producers, Inc., and the State Board of Agriculture.


WHEREAS, The State of Oklahoma has enjoyed the benefits of fresh wholesome milk for many years; and

WHEREAS, Dairy farming is a very important part of our Oklahoma agricultural community; and

WHEREAS, The State of Oklahoma has relied on its dedicated dairy farmers to supply our citizens with nature's most nearly perfect food; and

WHEREAS, The citizens of Oklahoma should be encouraged to drink milk every day as a nutritious food.

Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the Senate of the 1st Session of the 40th Oklahoma Legislature, the House of Representatives concurring therein:

THAT milk is hereby designated and adopted as the official beverage of the State of Oklahoma.

THAT copies of this resolution be distributed to the Governor and to the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Oklahoma; the State Board of Agriculture; the Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; and Steve and Renee Jones, owners, Sooner "J" Dairy, Rush Springs, Oklahoma.

Adopted by the Senate the 5th day of March, 1985.
Adopted by the House of Representatives the 22nd day of May, 1985.
Filed with the Secretary of State May 23, 1985.

The years passed, and it seems that it was all but forgotten that milk had been declared the official state beverage. Of course, visitors to NETSTATE were quite aware of this designation.

Pennsylvania beverage
Official beverage/drink of Oklahoma
Photographs, prints, posters, & tin signs

In 2002, Representative James E. Covey introduced House Bill No. 2110.

House Bill No. 2110 was concerned with the Oklahoma Agricultural Code; with changing the name of the State Department of Agriculture to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry; restructuring the department; etc. It also concerned itself with making milk the official state beverage.

According to The Amarillo Globe-News, "making milk the official state beverage was the brainchild of 11-year-old Daniel Howard, son of the Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Howard."

"During his studies about Oklahoma, Daniel learned that the state had sanctioned many things to represent it, from the state tree to the state flower. But there was no state beverage."

We are not sure how much research Daniel did, as milk was listed as the state beverage in the Oklahoma Almanac and, of course, here at NETSTATE.COM.

Perhaps he did no research, or, perhaps, he didn't consider it "official" because it was adopted by concurrent resolution.

According to the Oklahoma House of Representatives' Glossary of Legislative Terms:

Concurrent Resolution: Expresses the intent or will of both houses and is adopted by both houses. It does not have the force of law. This form is used to memorialize Congress on particular matters, to request action of State officials and departments, and for similar purposes.

After much discussion -- the legislation was complicated -- the Senate changed the House Bill and approved their version on April 11, 2002. The House of Representatives approved the amended bill on April 29, 2002.

On May 6, 2002, Governor Keating signed House Bill No. 2110 naming milk "the official drink of the State of Oklahoma," among other things...

What's official?

The events concerning this designation pose an interesting question regarding state symbols. What, exactly, makes a symbol or an emblem "official?"

Dictionaries lean on words such as "authoritative" or "authorized" regarding our use of the word. Aligned with these definitions, we at NETSTATE.COM consider symbols or emblems to be "official" when declared by an official state body or individual.

Some Oklahoma symbols have been adopted by resolution (e.g., the state beverage, amphibian, folk dance, animal), some by law (e.g., the state drink, butterfly, fish), some by a combination of the two (e.g. beverage/drink, bird), and one recent adoption, the official rock song, by declaration of the Governor.

We consider both actions regarding the designation of milk as a symbol of Oklahoma "official."

However, the 2002 legislation would seem to supersede the 1985 declaration, because it has the "force of law" behind it. It's codified in the Oklahoma Statutes.

Prior to 2002, we referred to milk as the official state "beverage." We now refer to milk as the official state "drink."


The Oklahoma Legislature. The Oklahoma Statutes Accessed March 01, 2011.
Tim, Talley (The Associated Press). "Milk becomes official state beverage." Amarillo Globe-News 02 Nov. 2002, Web.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

Additional Information

MooMilk.com: MooMilk.com is brought to you by Margo Souza of Circle H Dairy located in the California Central Valley.

Got Milk?: Official "Got Milk" website from the California Milk Processor Board -- health benefits purposely exagerated to prevent boredom!

State Beverages: Complete list of official state drinks and beverages.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Oklahoma state symbols.