COLUMBIA, S.C., March 27, 2012 – The cookers at the SC State Farmers Market were “fired up” on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24 for the inaugural Smokin’ at the Market Commissioner’s Cup Barbecue Cook-off and Festival where teams from five states vied for the title of Grand Champion.

“Anything But” was the order of evening on Friday. Cooking teams participating in the competition on Saturday had the opportunity to prepare and serve “anything but” barbecue on the eve of Saturday’s Commissioner’s Cup. To the visiting tasters, everything in the “Anything But” category was delicious, but shrimp and grits beat out the other non-barbecue entries like chili, BBQ wings, cheeseburger soup, and chicken cakes (a variation of crab cakes).

The big “Anything But” winner was No Pig Left Behind, a team of cooks from Goose Creek, S.C. On Saturday, competitors cooked up some of the best barbecue around. Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, presented the awards.

Winners in the “Butts” competition were First Place – Palmetto Smokehouse of Okatie, S.C., Second Place – Ultimate Tailgate BBQ of Aiken, S.C., and Third Place – Pickin' Porkers of Clemmons, N.C. In the “Ribs” category, winners were First Place – Pot Belly Cookers of Summerville, S.C., Second Place –Nards Barkyard BBQ of Piedmont, S.C., and Third Place – Some-R-Swine of Summerville, S.C.

Reserve Champion was Palmetto Smokehouse and the South Carolina State Grand Champion winner of the Commissioner’s Cup was Ultimate Tailgaters BBQ.

Commissioner Weathers said, “This is a great way to celebrate Spring and the beginning of the harvest season. If you joined us for the Commissioner’s Cup, we invite you to come back for the peak produce season and enjoy all the fresh flavors of a South Carolina summer.”

The crowd of barbecue lovers pigged out on all types of barbecue, listened to their favorite music compliments of DJ Mark Burns, and enjoyed visiting with the cookers. Specialty food producers lined the middle of the farmers shed serving samples and selling their unique Certified SC products. Kids brought their canned goods for Harvest Hope so that they could join in the food and festivities free.

Sponsored by Piggly Wiggly, Smithfield, Pepsi of the Carolinas, U.S. Foods, Angel Insurance & Financial Services, Columbia Meats, and The Trophy and Gift Shop, the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup was hailed a rousing success.

Commissioner Weathers said, “If you think this event was great, stay tuned to 2013. Nothing’s fresher. Nothing’s finer. And, really, nothing’s swiner than enjoying barbecue at the South Carolina Commissioner’s Cup.”

The State Farmers Market is located at 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, 29172. For more information, visit or follow the State Farmers Market on Facebook and Twitter @scfarmersmarket. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.