Over 600 ranchers and their friends and families attended the “Calling Washington Home to the Border” event on March 10 in Animas, New Mexico. The event, sponsored by the New Mexico and Arizona Cattle Grower’s Associations, featured presentations from local land owners, business owners, and concerned citizens who live and work along the US/Mexico border.
Erica Valdez, the event’s organizer, had hoped to gather a diverse group of panelists that represented the rich history of those who have worked the land along the international boundary for generations. She succeeded and due to that success, she was forced to change the venue at the last minute from the Animas Community Center to the Animas High School Auditorium to accommodate the peaceful crowd.
Panelists included Sue Krentz, widow of Rob who was murdered by an illegal alien. Sue and her son Frank presented on the topic: It’s all Irrelative Until It Is Your Relative.
William Hurt, whose family started ranching in New Mexico in 1909, presented on the topic: Ranching on the Border Today.
Dr. Gary Thrasher, a beloved veterinarian who works with ranchers on both sides of the border, presented on the topic: Animal Health and Border Relations.
Trisha Elbrock and her son Bunch Swift, whose employee of their water system and septic service company was recently kidnapped by cartel members while he was working in the field addressed the topic: Economic Impacts on Border Businesses.
Loren Cushman, Superintendent of Animas Public Schools, addressed the topic: Public School Safety Concerns.
Arizona Rancher Ed Ashurst, author of Alligators in the Moat: Politics and the Mexican Border, discussed Federal Government Cover Ups: What They Don’t Want You to Know.
The audience included New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce, and staff from the offices of U.S. senators Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and John McCain. New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte, Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero, Luna County Sheriff John Mooradian, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, and Susan Tully from FAIR were also in attendance along with representatives from the U.S. Army and National Guard.
Although they all shared different experiences and perspectives one singular message came through; return the Border Patrol agents to the border. Currently, agents are primarily stationed approximately 30 miles north of the border leaving the residents vulnerable to the bloodthirsty cartels.
This week, we will highlight each panelist’s presentation. Check back tomorrow for – It’s all Irrelative Until It Is Your Relative.