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‘Women Behind the Plow’ documentary to begin production

Thursday, May 3, 2018

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4/25/2018—Production on “Women Behind the Plow,” the 10th documentary of the award-winning Germans from Russia series, is set to begin in May.

Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Tri-County Tourism Alliance and the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection of the NDSU Libraries are partnering in a 60-minute video documentary based on and expanding on the stories in the book, “Women Behind the Plow.” The documentary will share memories of women featured in the book, as well as stories about women today on the farm through five decades beginning with the Great Depression of the 1930s.

More than 20 women will be interviewed for the project. They are all from “German-Russian Country,” a three-county area in south-central North Dakota that includes Emmons, Logan and McIntosh Counties. “It’s an area strong on agriculture, but even stronger on heritage and stories,” said Michael Miller, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection director and bibliographer.

Bob Dambach, co-executive producer at Prairie Public Broadcasting, said, “Camera crews plan to capture video from a number of cultural events, such as the Emmons County Dairy and Ag Day, cattle roundup, dairy farm activities, harvest scenes, and the South Central Threshing Bee in Braddock, North Dakota. The production for filming and interviews will continue until September.”

Following editing and post-production, the documentary is scheduled to be broadcast in March 2019.

“This series has been a wonderful partnership since 1996 with Prairie Public and the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,” Miller said. “For me personally, in my 51st year at NDSU, this has been a rewarding experience to share the rich heritage and culture of our Germans from Russia in North Dakota.”

Currently, an 18-panel exhibit, titled “Women Behind the Plow,” has been traveling the state, celebrating the contributions of German-Russian women on farms and in rural communities. The Tri-County Tourism Alliance will produce a “Women Behind the Plow” catalogue to showcase the photographic exhibit and the interviews for the book and documentary. The catalogue also is set to be available in March 2019.

The documentary will be broadcast in North Dakota, Manitoba, western Montana and eastern Minnesota on Prairie Public at least 12 times in its initial year. “Women Behind the Plow” also will be aired on public television stations throughout Minnesota on the Minnesota Channel and offered to all public broadcasting stations in North America. Michael Miller, GRHC Heritage Collection

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