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New Television Series Features South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D. – The first episodes of a new series airing nationally on PBS will feature stories from South Dakota. “America’s Heartland” is a weekly series that celebrates and profiles the people, places and processes of the nation's agriculture. Three South Dakota stories will appear in the first and second episodes of “America's Heartland,” broadcast on South Dakota Public Television Sundays at 4 p.m. CT. The first episode, airing Oct. 9, features the Corn Palace and a family farm near Wagner still owned by descendants of the original homesteaders. The second episode, airing Oct. 16, features the annual Schmeckfest in Freeman. “Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota so it’s a perfect fit for this series,” said Billie Jo Waara, director of the Office of Tourism. “By featuring our attractions and events, shows like this have a large impact on the state’s number two industry, tourism.” “America’s Heartland” is a magazine-style, half-hour series produced by KVIE Public Television in Sacramento, Calif. The production crew spent five days filming in South Dakota in April. The South Dakota Film Office assisted producers by providing story ideas centered on agriculture, researching agricultural events and securing filming locations. “We are extremely grateful to the South Dakota Film Office and the Office of Tourism for their outstanding help during our recent production efforts in South Dakota. With their assistance, we were able to create three very good stories,” said executive producer Mike Sanford. “Throughout our planning, traveling and filming, everyone in South Dakota was most friendly and accommodating.” Visit for more information about the series. The South Dakota Film Office is part of the Office of Tourism and markets South Dakota as a filming destination and facilitates filming within the state. Its efforts fit into the 2010 Initiative goal of doubling visitor spending in the state to $1.2 billion by the year 2010.