The United States Cattlemen’s Association (today) called on Congress and the Obama Administration to enhance security measures along the U.S.-Mexican border in the wake of the tragic murder of an Arizona rancher.

On March 27, 58 year-old Rob Krentz, Douglas AZ, was shot and killed on his ranch by what authorities suspect was an illegal immigrant trying to cross into the U.S. The Krentz ranch lies in a corridor well-known for drug smuggling and human trafficking. While Krentz was out checking water lines and fences on land his family has ranched since 1907 investigators say Krentz apparently came upon one person who appeared to need assistance, went to render aid and was shot and killed. Although mortally wounded, Krentz was able to drive away from the scene on his ATV at a high rate of speed before succumbing to his injury.

Footprints were identified at the scene and were followed about 20 miles south to the Mexico border by sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol trackers and Department of Corrections dog chase teams. At this point in the investigation, authorities say they are assuming the assailant escaped south into Mexico. No arrests have been made.

Arizona’s Congressional delegation, along with Governor Jan Brewer, are calling for action from the federal government to increase public safety along that state’s border with Mexico. Governor Brewer sent her initial request for additional help to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in March 2009. Her letter was followed by a joint letter from four border governors to Congressional leaders on April 22, 2009.

USCA Region III Director, Kimberly Stone, Capitan, New Mexico said the senseless and tragic murder underscores the necessity for enhanced security along the border. "American citizens are at increasing risk from the violence and lawlessness along the border and the situation continues to escalate," said Stone. "While our thoughts and prayers are with the Krentz family, we must ensure that Rob’s death was not in vain. USCA calls on Congress and the Obama Administration to take the necessary and immediate steps to enhance border security by not only assigning more law enforcement and military personnel, but also by providing the tools and resources they need to do their job."

Stone serves as a director for the New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association (NMCGA), a group that is also calling for greater federal involvement in border security matters.

"The U.S.-Mexican border lies along some of the most remote terrain in this country," said Jon Wooster, USCA President, San Lucas, California.. "This crisis is not confined to Arizona. It is a national crisis along our southern border that requires development of national policy authorizing the equipment, communications, training, experience and manpower to insure the safety of our citizens in this area. We hold no malice for the Mexican people, but we are now facing two separate issue along our border, security and immigration reform. Before we address immigration reform we must address the escalating violence along our southern border and the armed aggression against American citizens by foreign nationals. Ranchers should not go out to do their chores and literally fear for their lives."

Established in March 2007, USCA is committed to concentrating its efforts in Washington, DC to enhance and expand the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill. USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development. For more information go to