Over the past 40-plus years, Mike Freeze has been at the forefront of an agricultural revolution in the state of Arkansas.
His leadership of the fish farming business has helped Arkansas become one of the top three states in the union in terms of the production of both baitfish and catfish.
Freeze is past president of the National Aquaculture Association, the American Fish Farmers Federation and the Striped Bass Growers Association and is the current Vice President of Arkansas Farm Bureau.
He helped grow Keo Fish Farms in Lonoke County, Ark., into the nation’s largest producer of hybrid striped bass fry and fingerlings as its co-owner and operator. Freeze and his team also produce sterile triploid grass carp on their 1,000-acre fish farm.
A 1975 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife management, Freeze worked his way through college as a fish researcher on Lake Dardanelle. He later earned a Master of Science degree in biology from Murray State University.
Freeze served as a fisheries biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 1978-83. Freeze went on to his successful private ventures in aquaculture, but he gave back to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as a board member from 1999-2006 and as chairman of the commission in 2005-06.
He was the first former employee to serve as AGFC chairman and the commission’s first fish farmer.
Freeze is also active with Arkansas Farm Bureau having served over 10 year on their state board. He has served as an advocate for fish farmers through written testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee and as Arkansas's state chapter president for the American Fisheries Society.
A native of Pine Bluff, Freeze was honored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation in 2013 when he was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame and by Arkansas Tech University in 2014 when he was inducted into the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction.
“Mike Freeze – Arkansas Tech University.” Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas Tech University - Stay Informed (atualumni.com). August 2018.