Nashville, TN -- Due to September’s highly successful N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) received a gift of $10,000 from the N.C. Pork Council (NCPC), the state’s pork industry association.
In a presentation today attended by Raleigh city officials, the N.C. Pork Council (NCPC) announced the gift of $10,000 to the IBMA. The NCPC sponsors and sanctions the state championship cook-off and is headquartered in Raleigh, where it supports the state’s pork-producing industry.
The state championship cook-off was held in downtown Raleigh in conjunction with the IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on September 28, 2013. The festival, part of IBMA’s five day World of Bluegrass event and held in Raleigh for the first time, drew an estimated 140,000 visitors to Raleigh’s city center and is believed to have contributed as much as $10 million into cash registers around the Triangle.
The NCPC estimates that thousands witnessed the state’s best hog cooking teams compete for the state title and awaited the chance on the afternoon of Sept. 28 to sample the results. More than 4,000 servings of chopped pork barbecue were sold.
Nancy Cardwell, executive director of IBMA, participated in the presentation announcement. "Our experience in Raleigh was spectacular and we are grateful to all the organizations and individuals who supported us so well,” Cardwell said. “The pork barbecue cooking championship was a valuable addition, and the generous donation from the state’s pork industry will be put to good use by our organization.”
The North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) is the statewide organization chartered in 1962 to support producers and allied industry partners within the North Carolina pork industry. Today, the pork industry in the state includes more than 2,300 farms, about 46,000 full-time jobs and adds $9 billion to North Carolina’s economy.
Deborah Johnson, chief executive officer of the NCPC, said, “We were very pleased that our state championship added to the excitement and success of the IBMA’s bluegrass festival. The donation helps preserve the bluegrass tradition and is an investment we are proud to make.”
Johnson added, “Our donation to the IBMA was offered in the spirit of thanks and a reward for the group’s decision to bring its annual meeting and celebration to North Carolina, home of the nation’s best pork barbecue.”
Ann Edmondson, director of communications & marketing for the NCPC, said, “Being part of the IBMA’s first festival in Raleigh gave the pork industry a big role in a great weekend. We had excellent teams cooking their hogs and the fabulous music was a fine complement to the barbecue.”
The IBMA is a non-profit organization that connects and educates bluegrass professionals, empowers the bluegrass community, and encourages worldwide appreciation of bluegrass music of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The group, consisting of 2,700 members in all 50 states and 30 countries around the world, works together for the future of bluegrass music, providing professional development, leadership, showcase and leadership opportunities, as well as promoting the bluegrass genre.
The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival brought more than 60 of the nation’s leading bluegrass acts to perform in downtown Raleigh at the Convention Center, Red Hat Amphitheater, Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts and on various stages scattered throughout downtown.
IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event will return to Raleigh September 30-October 4, 2014, and again in 2015