WCIA Anchor, Erica Quednau, is making an impact on the local agriculture community! Erica takes time to highlight important stories related to agriculture. She took some time to answer several questions so we can learn more about her and how agricutlure affects her every day!
News at Noon
Current on WCIA 3
How is your job/career related to agriculture?
-Since agriculture is such a major part of central Illinois, I find it super important to be connected to the ag community as a journalist in the area. When I first started reporting at WCIA, I was assigned farm related stories and always found them so interesting. I loved learning more about the industry while on the job and talking to farmers in the area. After being with WCIA for 7 years, I'm now in charge of two segments that help promote the ag community! Twice a month on our noon show, Farm Bureau leaders join us to talk about events in the community and update us on agriculture. And I just started a new storytelling series called 'Harvest Heritage.' This is a great opportunity to travel throughout our viewing area and meet people in the ag industry and share how they're impacting the community. Those stories will air every Wednesday at 9:00am starting in October.
How did you get started in your career/current profession?
-After having a rough time with calculus at the U of I, I decided to change my major from pre-med to journalism. Major change, I know. I then interned at WCIA for a year and have been here ever since. My interest in ag stories really started when I met my now husband in college. He grew up on a farm.. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.. so I really didn't have any knowledge about the industry. But once I started learning more and becoming a part of the community myself, I never turned back.
What excites you most about being connected to the agriculture industry?
-The people. Between my in-laws, people in their hometown, or the people I've met through work, they all have such amazing stories to tell! And they are some of the most kind people I've ever met. They make you feel like your family even if you're only meeting for the first time.
What is your favorite memory of rural life and growing up in a small town?
-I did not grow up in a small or rural town by any means. I graduated with almost 1000 people in my high school class! But that is what makes me appreciate small town living so much now! Visiting Chicago and the suburbs is nice but I don't want to move back.. ever! The traffic is enough to make you want to go crazy. (And the lack of respect you sometimes encounter.)
What is your favorite meal?
-Hands down pizza. I could eat it everyday, all day and never get sick of it. Ever.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work, free time activities, hobbies, and interests?
-When I'm not at work, I'm with my family. We love to get together and eat, play games and support each other whether at sporting events or for school events. We also love our pets. As my nieces & nephews get older (and too cool to hang with us older folk).. my sisters and I all bring our dogs. Sometimes we have more animals than humans at our family parties! My husband and I have two dogs ourselves, Zuzu and Kaner. They are my everything at home. I love to take them for walks and of course cuddle on the couch when we can. My husband and I also love supporting our alma mater. During football and basketball season, you'll see us sporting our orange and blue and heading to campus to catch a few games.
Tell us about your family and background.
-My family is everything to me even though our lives our complicated at times. My parents are divorced but have both shaped me into the woman I am today. My mom is my best friend and my confidant. She is always there for me when I need to talk, a shoulder to cry on or a back rub. She's the strongest person I know along with independent and confident. I'm proud that she's passed those qualities on to me and taught me to never give up and demand the most out of my life. My dad is always there to make sure I'm making the right decisions. He questions me and challenges me to be a better person. He's very old school in family, tradition and work ethic. And I'm thankful for that wisdom that he's passed on to me.
If you could have supper with one or two famous living individuals, who would they be?
-Chris Pratt.. because duh! and Jimmy Fallon.. it would be the funniest supper ever!
What change or challenge do you see on the horizon that will impact agriculture the most in the near future?
-I am excited to see how technology continues to impact the industry. My hope is that I'll make the job more safe for farmers and less time consuming during harvest and planting seasons.. So I can spend more time with the hubby of course :)