North Dakota – Chasing Sunflowers Episode: Travels with Darley

Darley In Sunflower Field in North Dakota
Darley Newman against a postcard perfect backdrop of sunflowers on North Dakota’s Sunflower Trail.

Chase sunflowers and happiness with Darley Newman in the brilliant fields of yellow sunflowers blanketing North Dakota. Darley learns about the farming of sunflowers and their various uses and health benefits, as well as charting quirky roadside attractions like Salem Sue and Lewis and Clark history along the Missouri River. This episode highlights from Bismarck to New Salem with river cruises, art alleys, museums, cute and quirky cafes, breweries, and cuisine. Viewers in North Dakota can watch this episode on Prairie Public on Sunday, Jan 28th at 3:30pm. Viewers in other locations can check their local PBS listings.


The journey begins at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck, where Kim Jondahl teaches Darley about the state’s geological past, including rare dinosaur fossils. The exploration extends to the State Archives, showcasing historical artifacts like the Mark Kellogg diary.

Darley then delves into the vibrant local art scene, visiting Bismarck Art Alley and meeting artist Paul Noot. At Laughing Sun Brewery, she tries ax throwing with owner Mike Frohlich, who discusses the state’s growing brewing community. After enjoying a craft beer and some burnt ends, Darley visits the farm of Clark Coleman, past president of the National Sunflower Association. Darley experiences the beauty and prevalence of sunflower fields in North Dakota and learns about their various uses. She goes from the field to the factory, where she gets a tour of Giant Snacks and learns how to properly eat sunflower seeds with entrepreneur Robert Schuler. Darley learns about another North Dakota business known at SunButter, where Tara Jensen shares how the sunflowers get processed to make this delicious nut butter substitute. 

Next, Darley heads out on the water on the Missouri River with Dakota Goodhouse, a Great Plains historian and PhD candidate, on a Lewis & Clark Riverboat Tour. Darley explores the influence of German and Scandinavian immigrants on North Dakota’s culture, visiting Huckleberry House for Nordic-inspired lefse cake with Dante Long, and Butterhorn to try, you guessed it, butterhorns with former Top Chef contestant Chef Stephanie Miller. Chef Stephanie Miller shares how her Norwegian German heritage influences the cuisine at Butterhorn Restaurant and in Bismarck.

The journey concludes with a stop to see Salem Sue, the world’s largest Holsten cow before Udderly Caffeinated, a cow-themed coffee shop created by Melinda Ellingson. Here Darley enjoys a Holstein latte and reflects on the diverse and fascinating experiences that make North Dakota a unique travel destination.

Learn more about this episode at and watch it on PBS and streaming. Stay tuned for a second episode on North Dakota coming to PBS stations and featuring Fargo, Carrington, and Jamestown January 2025. 

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