Elbowoods basketball team of 1942

Women Behind The Plow

Premieres Thursday, September 26, at 7pm

About the show

Women Behind The Plow tells the compelling stories of the determined and indefatigable women who settled the North Dakota prairie and of the new generations, ages 15 to 92, who continue to work on the farm. These women embody the German-Russian expression "Arbeit macht das Leben süß" ... "Work makes life sweet."

The 60-minute documentary is based in part on the book "Women Behind The Plow," written and edited by Sue B. Balcom, which honors the contributions of women who worked in the fields and raised families in a time before electricity. It is the tenth in a series of award-winning documentaries produced by Prairie Public and the NDSU Libraries' Germans From Russia Heritage Collection.

The women featured have roots in German-Russian country, an area in south-central North Dakota comprising of Emmons, Logan, and McIntosh counties. It's an area strong on agriculture but even stronger on heritage and stories.


Producer: Bob Dambach
Editor: Cassie Pierce
Executive Producers: Bob Dambach and Michael M. Miller

Production funding for Women Behind the Plow was provided by Tri-County Tourism Alliance, NDSU Libraries' Germans From Russia Heritage Collection, McIntosh County Bank, the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, the members of Prairie Public, and the Opp-Mertz families: Esther (Mertz) Opp, Julie (Opp) Burgum, Galen and Barb (Schweigert) Opp, John and Pamelyn (Opp) Galegher, Alvin and Edna (Veil) Mertz, Larry and JoAnne (Mertz) Gauper, and Allean (Mertz) Boschee.