Today, the public demands that businesses act responsibly as it relates to society, the environment, globally and much more. U.S. consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on that responsibility criteria, and the pork chain is not immune. 

This year's Second Annual Responsible Pork Symposium, Feb. 23-25, will focus on issues facing all pork chain segments, from producer to consumer. Four specific areas will garner attention: Animal well-being, the environment, human capital and food safety. The event will look at those issues in the domestic and international markets.

Among the highlights at this year's symposium as it relates to the animal well-being area will feature Lynn Becker, a partner in MowMar Farms. He will talk about last year's experience of purchasing a production system from the previous owner, and in the transition finding yourself dealing with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal's animal-handling accusations. The producer will share insights and advice for others handling animals along the pork chain. He also will offer perspectives in dealing with PETA as well as general public.

Along those lines, Dennis DiPietrie, agricultural economist and pork industry consultant, will discuss the important role that employees play in ensuring or preventing that your business meets today's responsibility criteria. In the "Who am I Leaving in Charge?" session he will address how and why it's important to educate today's employees on big-picture issues that could negatively impact your business, as well as how to train and monitor those employees.

Presented by Pork magazine, the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Grocers Association and Center for Food Integrity, the event will take place in Kansas City, Mo., at the Kansas City Hilton Airport. For more information and to register, visit www.responsiblepork.com.