Tennessee designated milk as the official state beverage in 2009 in recognition of its health benefits. The Tennessee dairy industry produced nearly 100 million pounds of milk in 2007.
Milk has been called a nearly perfect food; a source of protein, calcium, and several other important nutrients. Each dairy cow produces about 6.5 gallons of milk per day. Less than half of this milk is consumed as a beverage - the rest is used for butter, cheese, ice cream, milk powder and other processed products.