The Department of Agriculture seeks to “cut the red tape” to make it easier to invest in rural America. USDA Monday announced steps to streamline access to four flagship loan programs. The programs include the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program, Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and the Rural Energy for America Guaranteed Loan Program. Under the initiative, USDA will eliminate duplicative processes and launch a single platform for the four loan programs. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the changes “will make it easier for private lenders to use USDA programs to invest in rural businesses and grassroots rural economic development efforts.” USDA is seeking public comments on the regulatory reforms expected to take effect on October 1, 2020. USDA also plans to conduct a series of listening sessions this summer on the proposed changes. For more information on how to register for the listening sessions, visit www.rd.usda.gov.