A man described as one of Louisiana's most influential elected officials has died. Former Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom passed away Saturday at the age of 78. Odom was much more than an agricultural leader. He was a force to be reckoned with in Louisiana politics. Some even said that his influence over politics and policy was far beyond the political stroke of any governor the state ever elected.

Odom was first elected to the position of Agriculture Commissioner in 1980. He served in that position until 2007. Current Ag Commissioner Mike Strain said this about the former commissioner,

"He was a political powerhouse for the Democratic party but it was in such a way to move his agenda along and that was the agenda of agriculture,"

Strain's comments were made to the Louisiana Radio Network.

Governor Bobby Jindal has ordered flags at all state offices and buildings to be flown at half staff in his honor. In the statement ordering the flags at half staff Jindal called Odom a champion of the Louisiana agriculture community.