Under the Dome

NC legislators chug milk in annual contest

With the help of two interns, the N.C. Senate beat the House Tuesday in the legislature’s annual milk chugging contest.

A 14-second margin separated the two teams in the battle of dairy consumption, with the prize money going to charities.

“You realize, the question before us today is who sucks the most,” said Sen. Mike Woodard, a Durham Democrat, shortly before grabbing a straw and doing just that.

Woodard led two interns to victory over three House members: Republican Reps. Bob Steinburg of Edenton, J.H. Langdon of Johnston County and Jonathan Jordan of Ashe County. Woodard said other senators weren’t available to compete because they were in budget meetings.

Each contestant chugged two 8-ounce bottles of milk through a straw – it’s a bit easier than the “gallon challenge” popular on college campuses that often makes competitors sick.

“Suck, suck, suck,” chanted Woodard as the first team member began. As soon as one finished his 8 ounces, the next team member could begin.

“Victory and still champions,” Woodard yelled as the Senate finished first in 1 minute and 37 seconds.

Steinburg said the requirement to use straws proved a challenge. “I could have done it better without the straw,” he said after the loss. “The straw was a little too far back in my throat.”

Steinburg said the outcome was disappointing, but he noted that the young interns might have given the Senate an advantage over the older House members. “I’m feeling a bit down because we didn’t pull it off,” he said. “I’d been psyching myself up all day.”

Woodard said his team’s victory “took a love of North Carolina-produced dairy products … there’s nothing better.”

The Senate won $200 for the North Carolina 4-H Foundation, while the House won $100 for the North Carolina Future Farmers of America. The money was donated by the Cooperative Council of North Carolina’s dairy promotion committee, which hosts the contest each year.

The House has only won two out of the 16 years of the contest, according to Steve Lathrop, dairy specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture.