Victim: The Rancher

By: Jim Olsen
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri

At the time of this writing, Rob Krentz is without a doubt, the most widely known rancher in America, maybe the world. Just ask anyone, anywhere to name an American rancher today, and they will more than likely say Rob Krentz or, at least, “You know … that guy that got killed along the border.”

The Krentzes were pioneers. They were the kind of people that settled and developed this country and made it safe for others to follow. They are the kind of family that should be considered the backbone of America. Surviving bad droughts, cyclical markets, government regulations, and a myriad of other issues helped make them into the strong ranching family that they are today. The Krentz Ranch has been there since before Arizona was a state. It has been there since long before there was ever a United States Forest Service dictating rules to them. This is the background and legacy that Rob was born into – a salt-of-the-earth kind of old-time ranching family.

When asked about some of Rob’s other qualities, over and over again I am told about his willingness to help out. Rob was known to help out a thirsty, starving, or wounded immigrant on more than one occasion. That may have been what got him killed. Rob’s last radio transmission to his brother Phil was something like: “Going to help an illegal in distress.” Rob and his dog, Blue, were found shot several hours later.

Rob was very active in the cattle growers’ associations at the local and state levels. He worked with the Malpai Borderlands group trying to preserve ranching and wildlife habitat for future generations. He testified numerous times to congressional leaders about the issues facing the international border.

Rob loved to hunt, fish, and do just about anything outdoors. He was a good roper, rancher, horseman, cowman, husband, and father. Everybody I talked to had nothing but praise for Rob. He was easy to get along with. He was always positive.

Rob Krentz loved life and would constantly tell his family, “We are so very blessed to live in this beautiful place that we live, to get to live the lifestyle that we want, and to do what we want to every day.” As one of Rob’s friends put it, “Rob was one of the good guys; he was a good ole boy.”

Jim Olson is a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. His website is


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