Women in Agribusiness: Erica Quednau

As a city girl transplanted to the country, WCIA-TV News Reporter, Erica Quednau, was happy to put down roots here in central Illinois after graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Quednau says she chose Journalism "Because it can take you to so many places" via the interesting stories and locations she experiences on the job. 

Quednau landed an internship with Channel 3 while she was a student at the University of Illinois. After a year as an intern, she was hired on as a producer of the evening news, where she developed her skills. She then moved to the morning show, where she was a producer and worked the challenging night owl shift from midnight to 8am. 

Currently, Quednau is a daytime reporter where she features stories related to agricultural news. Her husband, Scott Burris, is from a farm family in Douglas County, and being married to someone who actively farms has allowed her to witness firsthand the challenges and complexities that today's farm operators face. Quednau and her husband met while they were both students at the U of I, and after dating for 10 years, he popped the question in front of the family Christmas tree in 2012. 

Quedna's first experience with agriculture was at the Farm Progress Show while she was in college. She was amazed at the variety and scope of farm equipment and new technology such as drones and auto steer for tractors. 

"Who could have imagined that tractors would be driving themselves using GPS technology?" Said Quednau. 

As lead reporter and anchor for the noon news at WCIA's Channel 3, Quednau has covered a variety of stories in her "Harvest Heritage" series. She enjoys the opportunity to introduce central Illinois to the men and women behind farming operations. According to Quednau, "It's more than just planting and harvest, corn and soybeans. Harvest Heritage is a chance to discover all that the farming industry has to offer including traditions and history within each farm and the variety of interesting crops being grown here."

One of her recent stories featured a farmer from Douglas County who had been blinded in one eye due to an injury and was unable to complete harvest. His community gathered together and organized help in the form of twenty additional farmers along with their equipment to "get 'er done" and complete harvest in one day. 

Examples like this remind Erica of why she chose to stay in the central Illinois community. A few years ago, her mother followed in her footsteps and moved to Sidney from the Chicago suburbs. Her father lives nearby in St. Joseph, Illinois. Recently, her grandparents moved from Arizona to Sidney, Illinois and live right down the street. Quednau is a good example of a city girl turned country with an exciting career in television news. With a baby on the way, and family close by, it feels like the perfect choice.