sue-b-balcom-2017“These kids nowadays.”

That’s a phrase author Sue Balcom heard over and over as she gathered interviews for her latest book, “Women Behind the Plow.”  The book, published by the Tri-County Tourism Alliance, honors the unrecognized contribution of women who grew up or lived on farms in Logan, McIntosh, and Emmons counties.

“They didn’t get any recognition at the time. I found a photo that had ‘Mr. and Mrs. John Dockter’ on the back of it and I thought what a shame that the woman’s name wasn’t even written on the back of a photo. This book is a way to showcase and recognize some of those women.”

The women in the book are now in their 80s and late 90s, but they remember their days on the farm like they were yesterday.

“Most of them were just tickled pink to tell their stories,” Sue says. “If we don’t write these stories down, they will be lost forever. This is the last generation that lived without electricity. Their stories are fabulous. Their days were long and they all speak so fondly of life on the farm and of having 15 brothers and sisters. Things will never be that way again. This book gives us a window into what life used to be like.”

“Women Behind the Plow” can be purchased at the North Dakota Heritage Center, the Germans from Russia library at NDSU, and online at There is a companion photo exhibit at the North Dakota Heritage Center though the end of July.