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In Memory of Michael R. McLeod
Michael "Mike" R. McLeod, who spent 30
years representing the crop insurance industry
through the American Association of Crop Insurers (AACI), died July 20 in Asheville, N.C. He
was 78.
After graduating from American University
Law School, Mike joined the Agriculture Committee staff in the early 1970s, helping write the
Rural Development Act of 1972. On the full committee staff, he was instrumental in enactment of
the Farm Credit Act of 1971, the 1973 Farm Bill,
grain inspection reform legislation creating USDA's Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS),
and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974, which created the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Mike joined the law firm of Davis and McLeod in early 1978 and later established his own
law firm of McLeod Watkinson and Miller. He
worked as a lawyer-lobbyist where he represented such clients as the Chicago Board of Trade for
more than 20 years, AACI, and the United Egg
Producers. Mike worked closely with members
of Congress on farm legislation and other agricultural interests. He was often asked to speak to
various farm groups and was widely considered a
leader in his field.
In the early 1980s, Mike engaged with several crop insurance companies to lobby Congress
to gain their support for federal crop insurance. 
This was the  beginning  of AACI. Mike was instrumental in the development and structure of
the organization and was the leader of the fight
in Washington D.C. for crop insurance support. 
He was well known to members of the House and
Senate due to his previous work on specific agriculture legislation.
"His extensive  knowledge of the intricacies
of legislation and political allies made him an invaluable leader to partner with as we moved forward on the implementation of crop insurance
legislation," said Rick Gibson, former Chairman
of AACI and NCIS. "He had the uncanny ability to identify leaders in Congress who would be

strong supporters of crop insurance."
"Mike's early contributions and leadership led
to the ultimate expansion of the crop insurance
industry and have resulted in the success that the
industry enjoys today," said Tom Zacharias, President, National Crop Insurance Services.
Gibson remembers his first meeting with
Mike and others in D.C. to call on Jamie Whitten, then chairman of the House Agriculture
Committee.
"I remember Mike's instructions very vividly;
if he wanted a comment from you, he would let
you know.  Make it brief and concise!"
In 1995, Mike and his wife, Sandy, purchased
a small tract of land in South Asheville and began
to develop a small vacation rental resort. They
poured their hearts into making their dreams
come true and, after purchasing two additional
tracts, were able to build 25 vacation rental cabins. Mike retired in 2017, moved to Asheville and
enjoyed walking, his two German shepherds and
spending time with his family.

Mike wrote more than five books over the
years, including several he wrote together with
Sandy. His most recent, "The Greatest Financial
Scandals of the Last Twenty Years: From Madoff
to the Cover up of the OptionSellers/INT FCStone Scandal," was written based on his experience in commodity legislation and as a private
investor.
Other books he wrote include: "Luxury Vacation Rentals for Life: Vacation Rentals by the
Numbers;" "Blue Ridge Mountain Gardening:
Four Principles You Must Know for Gardening
in the Southern Appalachian Mountains;" "The
Death of Civility and Common Sense: How
America Has Become Dangerously Polarized,"
and, "Flat Belly for Life: A Holistic Guide to
Living a Healthy, Purpose Driven Life into Your
100's."
Mike is survived by his loving wife, Sandy
Hendrix McLeod; one son, Michael Christopher
McLeod; one grandson, Colt Michael McLeod
and one brother, Jerry McLeod.
CROPINSURANCE TODAY®

31


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Crop Insurance Today Third Quarter 2020

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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/may2016
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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/november2015
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