Yes there is quicker way and more effective. Find a lender and loan officer who work with USDA loans. The process of comunicating with USDA will drag out to the point of acute frustration.
Finding lenders who are practiced and set up with USDA is not an easy task. Many of the loan officers will say they have the experience but do not. Many will try to discourage you. USDA is a fantastic loan so stay on it.
You will find some helpful articles on USDA and selecting lenders/loan officers on Your-Road-Home.com. The article Consultation Interviewing Loan Officers will also serve you.
My advice if I may, gather information, gather information.
Also, after you have gatherd your info, there are loan officers in you area offering their services on Trulia. Be sure the lender you choose is in your area.
Best of Luck, Stephen