Mike Frerichs was born and raised in the small farming community of Gifford, Illinois. His father was a truck driver and his mother was a university secretary. He graduated from Rantoul Township High School (1991) and four years later graduated from Yale University (1995). Mike returned home with a desire to serve his community. He taught at his alma mater Rantoul Township High School and managed a local safety engineering company, Smart Structures. Later he was elected twice to the Champaign County Board and served four years as Champaign County Auditor, where he became a Certified Public Finance Officer. Mike also served as a volunteer firefighter and on the board of a local nursing home.
Mike was elected to the General Assembly in 2006. Since being elected, Mike has stood tall for the 52nd district. As Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, he has provided financial assistance to farmers and advocated for alternative fuels. As Vice-Chairman of the Education Committee, Frerichs has funded improvements at the University of Illinois, Parkland College and Danville Community College while fighting to reduce Illinois' disparities in education funding. During the 97th General Assembly, Mike co-chaired a special committee designed to preserve and extend Enterprise Zones across Illinois. Because of his work on this committee, Illinois’ business climate has been able to stay competitive with neighboring states and Illinois has been able to preserve and create millions of jobs and billions of dollars in investments.
Mike has been frequently recognized for his hard work by organizations from across the state and is considered one of the rising stars of the Illinois General Assembly. He has received the Illinois Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Agriculture” Award, the “Legislator of the Year” Award from both the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association, and was named “Man of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine in 2012.
Mike currently resides in Champaign with his wife Laura and his daughter Ella. His slogan, “Standing Tall for Illinois,” is a play on his height. At 6 feet 8 inches, Mike is one of the tallest legislators in Illinois history, standing four inches taller than Abraham Lincoln.