[imgcontainer right] [img:19milk-span-articleLarge.jpeg] [source]New York Times[/source] Maine dairy farmers are trying to make a go of jointly marketing organic milk. [/imgcontainer]

We went to the neighborhood grocery this week (in Texas) and found signs on the milk cooler saying their was a nationwide shortage of organic milk. We hadn’t seen any news of a milk shortage — the last we saw, dairy farmers were culling herds.

Then Saturday morning the New York Times tells the troubled tale of Maine’s Own Organic Milk (MOO), a farmer-run group, was having a hard time staying in business. Simply, MOO can’t sell enough milk. 

It’s a tough story. Families have borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are producing good milk. Organic milk is popular. But the milk business is still hard. 

Some Whole Foods stores have started carrying MOO milk. And the group is seeking outside investors. Their efforts show just how hard it is to make a business go. And it tells how important these against-all-odd efforts are in rural communities.

“We’re talking economic development here for lower-income communities, for rural areas, not just the product itself,” said one MOO farmer.

• You gotta love Pikeville, Kentucky, attorney and newspaper columnist (and Republican) Larry Webster

• The Indiana legislature is considering a bill that would offer incentives for new nuclear power plants. 

Kansas may offer economic incentives to residents who left the state but want to move back.

There’s a bill in the legislature that would grant a state income tax exemption to people who have left Kansas for more than five years but who move back to one of 40 counties that have suffered the largest population declines in the last decade. 

Another bill would help pay back college loans for those who move to one of these counties. 

• Lots of stories about rural areas having slim-to-none choices for broadband Internet access. Here’s the New York Times.  Here’s the Washington Post. 

• The West Virginia legislature is ready to pass new rules that will govern gas drilling in the Marcellus shale.

Gas drilling in shale formations has stirred environmental debate from New York to Texas.  

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