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The Women Behind the Plow

Posted 5/10/17 (Wed)

With Mother's Day on Sunday, this is the week we pause to honor the mothers in our lives. Whether its passing thoughts, Facebook posts with pictures, or full blown remembrances, mothers are on our mind. 

Just in time for this annual day for mothers is a new book that records the contributions of the pioneer farm women who helped settle the state.  Women Behind the Plow is compilation of interviews with women from German-Russian families who worked on the farms beside their fathers and husbands in North Dakota's early to mid-20th Century. 

Their perspectives of life on the prairie before electricity is a different take than what is remembered by men. Likewise are the challenges they faced and their approach to life. These are women who created productive farms, homes and communities without the essentials of telephones, computers or the internet.

Whether or not the women in our lives worked on farms, metaphorically every family has its own kind of women behind the plow.  These are the women who made it happen, who stood behind everyone else and made it possible for the husband to succeed and the children to grow and develop, and may have also at the same time cared for aging parents, family members or neighbors. The success of a farm, home, family or business was not often attributed to the work these women did "behind the plow." But make no mistake, they contributed to that success.  

I am thankful for all the women who stood behind me and helped move me toward who I am today.  I hope I am repaying that by helping those in my orbit today in the areas of their lives where they need me.  This week, this Mother's Day and throughout the rest of this year, I want to be for all of them their "woman behind the plow."

Andrea Winkjer Collin

 

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