In July of 2010 the Board of Directors of the Malpai Borderlands Group voted to establish a scholarship fund, in the memory of former Malpai Board Member Rob Krentz, to assist worthy high school graduates in the Malpai Borderlands region with furthering their education. Scholarships will be given annually to a student (or students) in any subject. Financial need and scholastic achievements will be the main considerations for the scholarship.
Much has already been written and broadcast about the tragic death of Rob Krentz. On March 27, while checking livestock and wildlife waters in one of the pastures on his ranch, Rob was shot, apparently without provocation, by an unknown person. Tracks of the killer went into Mexico and the area is part of a corridor that has been used for smuggling activities. It appears to have been a case of Rob being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those of us who live here know that Rob was in the right place – on his ranch, doing what he was supposed to do. We were and are shocked, outraged and saddened by the loss of our friend, neighbor and colleague. However, the fact that something horrible happened here did not surprise us. We had predicted that such a thing was likely to occur and had been asking for more enforcement attention for this neglected part of the border. It took the murder of one of us to finally get it.
Not as much has been written about the way Rob Krentz lived. Rob epitomized what the Malpai Borderlands Group is about. If any one thing could be said to characterize Rob, it was his generosity. He had a hard time saying no whenever asked to lend a hand and often went out of his way to help others when he saw the need, asked or not. This generosity extended to strangers as well as to friends and neighbors. Rob was a religious man and he really believed in being "thy brother's keeper". He was also strongly dedicated to the ranching tradition and to the stewardship that has kept the Krentz Ranch going for over 100 years. The Krentz family demonstrated their commitment to the goals of the Malpai Borderlands Group to "protect a healthy, unfragmented landscape" and "encourage profitable ranching and other traditional livelihoods which will sustain the open space of our land for generations to come" by conveying a conservation easement on their ranch to the Malpai Borderlands Group in 2003. That means that their beautiful ranch that runs from the Chiricahua Mountains well into the San Bernardino Valley that will never be subdivided.
Rob Krentz had another passion besides ranching. A graduate of the University of Arizona , he believed very strongly in the importance of education. Rob saw all three of his children attend college (two graduated from New Mexico State University) and he sat on the school board for the one-room school in Apache, Arizona for over two decades. If there was an FFA field day, a 4H competition, or anything involving kids and education going on, no one was ever surprised to see Rob involved. He also believed in education being a life-long endeavor. Rob was a recent graduate of Project Central, the Center for Rural Leadership, and he demonstrated his leadership by serving as President of the Cochise-Graham Cattle Growers' Association and as Chairman of the Whitewater Draw Natural Resource Conservation District, in addition to his service to the Malpai Group. It is fitting that the Malpai Borderlands Group honors Rob Krentz by establishing this scholarship that bears his name.
Kaleigh Best from Animas High School 2016 Recipient
Kaleigh is entering NMSU after graduating from Animas High School with high honors. She, like Caylin, has overcome many trials in her young life. She has attended 10 different schools and has lived in nine homes since the age of seven. Going to college has been her dream goal. She is majoring in Animal Science. Rob Krentz would be very proud of the current scholarship recipients.
Caylin Tibbets from San Simon High School 2015 Recipient
Caylin is a sophomore at NMSU. Last year she earned a 3.77GPA while working full time at Denny’s as a waitress. This semester she is taking 20 hours of course work while still working full time. She graduated from San Simon High School in Arizona. She is majoring in agriculture education. Caylin has overcome many obstacles in her young life and is a tribute to the future generations of young adults.
Holly Freeman from Animas High School 2015 Recipient
Holly is entering her sophomore year at West Texas A&M at Canyon, Texas. She is majoring in Pre-Veterinary/Animal Science studies and earned a 3.5 GPA in her first year. She graduated from Animas High School. At West Texas A&M, Holly is currently involved in the Block and Bridle and the Pre-Vet Clubs. She is also a member of the Maroon Platoon, an organization that supports athletic programs on campus.
Zane Webster from San Simon High School 2013 Recipient
Zane is entering his senior year at Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas. He graduated from Conners State in Oklahoma with a two year associate degree in livestock judging. Zane is currently an intern at JBS Meats in Tolleson, AZ, for the summer and will graduate in May 2017 with a degree in Animal Science. Zane is the first Krentz Scholarship recipient to complete a four year degree.
C.P. Stocker Scholarship
Zacharey Winkler from Animas High School 2016 Recipient
Zachary is entering his freshman year also at NMSU, having graduated from Animas High School. He is majoring in Computer Science. While at Animas High School, Zachary worked as an Assistant Computer Technician and is currently learning computer repair from an IT Specialist in the Lordsburg School District. Zachary’s father, Rich, is on the board of the Malpai Borderlands Group. Zachary is the second recipient of the Stocker Scholarship.
Dallas Pompeo from Animas High School 2015 Recipient
Dallas is in her sophomore year at NMSU located in Las Cruces, N.M. She had a very successful freshman year, completing 28 hours with a 3.844 GPA. Dallas is majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education with a minor in Animal Science. Dallas is the initial recipient of the newly created Malpai/Stocker Scholarship. She graduated from Animas High School.