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.

   Madison Michaels from Willcox HIgh School  2018 Recipient

Madison Michaels is the 2017-2018 recipient of THE ROB KRENTZ MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP.  She is currently a senior at Willcox High School. Maddee has attended Cochise College while in school and is active in rodeo, FFA, 4-H, basketball and a class officer. Madison plans to attend New Mexico State University and major in Animal Science with a minor in Agriculture Business. She is the daughter of Mark and Shelley Michaels.

Rayce Wagley from Animas High School  2017 Recipient

Rayce is our newest scholarship recipient and will be a freshman at NMSU. Rayce is the fifth generation to be raised on his family farm in Animas, N.M. He will work toward a degree in Genetics and Biotechnology. His goal is to improve current crops and increase food production. Rayce graduated with a 3.96 GPA and ranked 2nd in his senior class at Animas High School.

    Kaleigh Best from Animas High School   2016 Recipient

Kaleigh is entering her Sophomore year at NMSU. She earned a 3.1 GPA her freshman year and is majoring in Animal Science and focusing on a minor in equine medicine. A former high school principal wrote in her letter of recommendation that Kaleigh "has a positive attitude and a dedication to do the best at whatever task is before her. She is an example of strength combined with compassion”.

  Caylin Tibbets from San Simon High School   2015 Recipient

Caylin is a junior at NMSU. She hopes to graduate in May of 2018, one year ahead of schedule. Her grades are excellent and she is working full time. Caylin is engaged and will be married in May at the Air Force Academy, which her future husband attended. Congratulations to a wonderful woman. She hopes to get a teaching job in Agricultural Education after she graduates.

   Holly Freeman from Animas High School  2015 Recipient

Holly is a junior at West Texas A&M at Canyon, Texas. She is a Pre-Veterinary/Animal Science major and her GPA is over a 3.3. She is also a member of several campus clubs, including the Pre-Vet club and the Block and Bridle Club. Tricia Elbrook of Animas wrote in her letter of recommendation that “she has never found a more dedicated, hardworking individual”. Holly loves living in west Texas.

C.P. Stocker Scholarship

   Heather Klump from Animas High School 2018 Recipient

Heather is a Freshman at Western NM University studying nursing. 

Zack Winkler  Zachary Winkler from Animas High School 2016 Recipient

Zachary is entering his junior year at NMSU. He is majoring in Electrical Engineering. Zach is the son of Rich Winkler, the Executive Director of the Malpai Borderlands Group. Zach’s mother, Tamara, is the Financial  Coordinator of the Malpai Borderlands Group. Zachary is a Crimson Scholar at NMSU, which is one of the highest academic honors a student can earn.  Zachary is also on the Deans list at NMSU. 

    Dallas Pompeo from Animas High School 2015 Recipient

Dallas enters her senior year at NMSU. For her first two years she achieved a grade point average of 3.78. She is a member of the NMSU Collegiate FFA Chapter and was inducted into the Sam Steele Society of NMSU ACES. She  is a member of the Collegiate Wool Judging team and helped her team earn 6th place overall at the Denver Stock Show this year. Dallas is majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education with a minor in Animal Science.












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