september/October 2009 | back to school

Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program

Randolph High School

Keith Gundlach

Randolph High School
Keith Gundlach
Randolph, WI


The Randolph High School Agricultural Education Department in Randolph, WI, is one of six schools that received the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program (OMSP) Award at the 2008 NAAE annual conference in Charlotte, NC.

The department is directed by Keith Gundlach, who has been teaching agriculture at Randolph High School for thirty-one years.  His classes include students from both Randolph and nearby Cambria-Friesland High School.  The programs offer a variety of classes, including an exploratory class for middle school students.  Another component of the program at Randolph is the exchange program with an agriculture school in Graz, Austria.  This program gives students from both schools the chance to experience different forms of agriculture than what they experience in Wisconsin.

In cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce, Students in the Randolph FFA chapter plant and care for all the public plantings in the villiages of Randolph, Cambria and Friesland

Gundlach believes that student interaction is an important enhancement of learning.  In his 31 years at Randolph, he has created and maintains many great relationships with students and their parents. 

“I am a strong disciple of the connection between classroom instruction, the FFA, and a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) with hands on learning,” said Gundlach.  His classroom is filled with a variety of learning and teaching methods from lecture to labs. The program has been very successful, with the FFA members winning many awards and recognition over the years.  Along with parents, Gundlach has worked to build several community partnerships that will assist in enhancing his students’ learning.

“Keith’s agricultural education program has been a model for other schools to mirror,” said Jeff Hicken, Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  “The agricultural education department continues to prepare students with the most up-to-date curriculum and teaching techniques.”

Each of the six regional OMSP winners received a plaque, cash award, and expense paid trip to attend the annual NAAE conference in Charlotte.  The National FFA Alumni Association sponsors the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.  For more information about the OMSP award and all NAAE awards programs, visit