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Conservationist Warns of Threats to Biodiversity

Guest speaker and retired business leader Jerry Jung addresses environmental sustainability in campus talk.

Jerry Jung, a retired business leader and lifelong conservationist committed to sustainability, presents “The Impact of U.S. Agricultural Policy on Biodiversity” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre.

Admission is free and open to the public. Mr. Jung also will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree in recognition of his career achievements.

“I’m delighted that our students will have the opportunity to hear Jerry Jung speak on important environmental issues,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “Since retiring, Mr. Jung has been focused on efforts to eliminate the widespread use of bio-fuels, which he believes are an environmental disaster.

“He is a friend of Alma College who advocates effectively for private higher education in his role as chair of the Michigan Colleges Alliance Board,” he says.

Jung owns more than 40,000 acres of conservation lands on which he practices “eco-restoration.” In 2016, he founded Rethink Ethanol, a non-profit group dedicated to increasing awareness and initiating changes in ethanol usage in order to help the environment.

His extensive business career includes more than two decades as CEO of Michigan Caterpillar. He also was chairman and founder of Oak Adaptive, which provides software tailored to Caterpillar dealers, and the founder of Landfill Energy Systems, an alternate energy company that harvests methane from decomposing garbage and utilizes it to produce electricity. He is a former director of Warren Equipment Company, a Texas-based gas compression fabricator and Caterpillar dealer, and past president of the Michigan Construction Equipment Dealers Association.

Jung’s commitment to public service includes work as board chair of the Michigan Colleges Alliance, a group of 15 private independent colleges, and as board member of Detroit 90/90 schools. He also chaired the Michigan State Transportation Commission from 2010 to 2015 and is a past trustee of the Michigan Nature Conservancy.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Jung graduated with honors in economics from Tulane University.

Story published on January 22, 2019