flag at half mast (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State officials and political leaders are paying tribute to the memory of longtime Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Odom, who died Saturday morning.

Gov. Bobby Jindal called Odom a champion for Louisiana agriculture. He ordered flags at state buildings flown at half-staff until Friday.

Mike Strain, who succeeded Odom after Odom dropped out of a 2007 runoff election, called him "a giant in the agriculture industry." Strain credited Odom with modernizing the department.

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson called Odom a "fierce advocate" for the agriculture industry and family farmers.