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.

   Ember Kimball from San Simon High School   2021 Recipient

The new 2021 Rob Krentz Memorial Scholarship recipient is Ember Kimball from San Simon High School. Ember was
a member of the National Honor Society and FFA. She will be attending Pima Community College in Tucson this fall to
study Veterinary Technology.

 Lauren Fullen from Douglas High School  2020 Recipient   

I am in my Sophomore year of school at Cochise College and am on track to finishing my associate’s degree by
Spring of 2022. I am involved in the Student Government Association and serve as Vice President of Douglas Campus. I am also involved in Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Club TRiO, and have become a student mentor to help incoming students navigate their way through college. I am continuing my work/shadowing at High Desert Veterinary Service to prepare me for my career goal as a veterinarian, and I continue to strive to accomplish my goals with the help of the many who have supported me! Thank you to MBG and everyone who has helped me get this far in my academics and personal journey!

   Tana Webster from San Simon High School   2019 Recipient

I have transferred to New Mexico State University to continue my degree in Animal Science.

     Madison Michaels from Willcox HIgh School  2018 Recipient

This year I am a senior at New Mexico State University majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Ag Business. After graduation, I plan to further my studies with a master’s in Ag Business or pursue a career in the ag or animal industry. I have learned a lot during my last three years at NMSU and am excited for the year to come.

C.P. Stocker Scholarship

  Mikala Driscoll from San Simon HIgh School  2021 Recipient

My name is Mikala Driscoll and I’m from San Simon, AZ. I am a freshman at New Mexico State University this year and I have moved over to Las Cruces, NM to start classes on August 18. I am majoring in animal science and I am eager to begin college!

 Ty Wagley from Animas High School   2019 Recipient 

New Mexico State University is like a second home for me and I have been more involved in campus life this year. I was given the opportunity to design and run with two of my close friends a first time extended orientation camp for upcoming Freshman called Fort Keystone and be the head councilor for it. I am also an ACES mentor for freshman coming into the ACES college here at NMSU. I am also in multiple clubs and organizations on campus including: Aggie Stampede, collegiate FFA, collegiate Farm Bureau, and looking to join more.

  Zachary Winkler from Animas High School 2016 Recipient

Growing up on a ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico, I spent much of my childhood playing football, learning about
electronics, and helping my family run our ranch. After graduating from Animas High School in 2016, I went
on to attend New Mexico State University, where I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
I graduated in 2020, and was accepted into the graduate program at New Mexico State University for
Electrical Engineering.
Last summer I went back to Fort Worth, Texas to intern for Oncor Electric Delivery. I am currently working on my
thesis, which is using image processing and machine learning techniques to assess the condition of cattle. I will
graduate in the spring of 2022.

Last Updates:  12/8/21

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