Newly minted Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) announced Friday that former staffer Robert Holifield will serve as her committee staff director.The Arkansas-native, who most recently served as the deputy chief of staff for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was Lincoln’s senior adviser on agriculture policy from 2000 to 2007. “He has been a valued advisor, and I know he will work diligently with committee members and staff to help us build upon the committee’s strong record and produce a forward-looking agenda,— Lincoln said in a statement. Added Holifield: “I am honored to be returning to Chairman Lincoln’s staff and look forward to assisting her as she seeks policy solutions for the benefit of all Americans.—Lincoln was tapped to lead the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday after Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) left his post atop that panel to become chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Harkin replaced the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who died of brain cancer Aug. 25.