In Touch with Prairie Living

October 2012

By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo

In preparing this October column, I share with you that Acacia Jonas Stuckle, GRHC Special Collections Associate, has accepted a new position with the NDSU Extension Service beginning in October. Acacia’s impressive and outstanding work at the GRHC has been well received by the Germans from Russia community and in North Dakota. She has been a wonderful ambassador to promote and inform regarding the GRHC activities and projects at outreach events and presentations. Acacia will be working in the heart of German-Russian country in south-central North Dakota where we look forward to staying in good contact.

Almost 125 years ago, Acacia’s great-great-great-grandfather moved his family from the steppes of Russia to the prairies of North Dakota (Emmons County.) After ten years in Fargo, the prairies have called her back to those very roots.

Acacia has recently accepted positions with the North Dakota State University Extension Service in both Emmons and Kidder Counties. She will serve as the Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development in Emmons County (Linton, N.D.) and as the Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science and 4-H Youth Development in Kidder County (Steele, N.D.)

Acacia began working at the GRHC as a student employee in August 2002. She continued to work here throughout her college career and was hired as the Special Collections Associate in February 2007. Acacia has also been an active member of the Tri-County Tourism Alliance to help promote heritage tourism in “German-Russian Country,” which includes the counties of Emmons, Logan and McIntosh.

Acacia says, “Before I embark on my next adventure, I’d like to thank everyone I’ve worked with through my experiences at the NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) in the past ten years for their colleagueship and support. The experience has been very rewarding and working with Michael Miller was a wonderful opportunity. It is inspiring to work alongside someone who is so dedicated to his work. While I no longer will be at the GRHC, I know they will continue to do an excellent job in promoting and preserving the heritage of the Germans from Russia. I’m excited for this new opportunity but will truly miss my work and the staff at the GRHC.”

The GRHC has published an impressive new cookbook, “Alma’s Favorite Recipes: Cooking & Memories from a German-Russian Farm Kitchen,” by Alma (Janke) Schott, a Gackle, N.D., native. The cookbook will be available at the Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase events in Fargo (Nov. 16-18) and Bismarck (Nov. 30-Dec. 2.)

Growing up on a German-Russian farm between Fredonia and Gackle, N.D., Schott helped out where ever she was needed. She learned to bake and cook when she was only eight or nine years old and it became part of her life. She credits her mother to being her home economics teacher. Schott has been pleasing the palates of her family and friends with her fabulous cooking for decades. Her baking is well-known in south central North Dakota.

Inside this cookbook you will find recipes prepared in Alma’s beloved German-Russian farm kitchen… a pinch of this, a little of that. Here is a cookbook sharing the recipes which were crafted, created and perfected over many years.

“This book is absolutely charming,” said Evon J. Dewald, retired teacher and librarian. “The reader feels as though the author and reader are having a good cup of coffee and a delightful visit. I felt as though I was watching my grandmother and mom baking in their kitchens, and explaining to me how these wonderful family favorites were made. Certainly this recipe book is a happy read.”

For further information about the new cookbook, the Friends of the GRHC, the 19th Journey to the Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart, Germany (May 16-26, 2013), and donations to the GRHC (such as family histories), contact Michael M. Miller, The Libraries, NDSU Dept. #2080, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (Telephone: 701-231-8416; Email:; the GRHC website:

October column for North Dakota and South Dakota weekly newspapers.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller