LAFAYETTE — Being the top cop in Allen County can be a daunting task in and of itself, but when Sheriff Matt Treglia leaves the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, he has another job waiting for him, one that he says is “in his blood.”
Treglia’s roots go back to agriculture, with his grandfather starting a farm after coming to Allen County from Italy more than 100 years ago. His father, Tony, then took up the farming mantle while also working at Superior Coach.
“The first Treglia farm was right where the Waffle House is now,” Treglia said. “Then they moved to Rumbaugh and Reservoir Road, and we don’t have that anymore, but that’s where my dad grew up. My dad farmed a small amount all his life and raised cattle.”
Treglia can remember working with his father on the farm going back to age nine. He had aspirations for a long time to be in law enforcement, but even then, he never strayed too far from the farm life. Not long after graduating high school, he started his first solely owned farm in the northeast part of Allen County. That farm grew to the point where Treglia joined with a business partner in 1999 to form Creek Bottom Farms, which went from 280 original acres to 4,100 acres of farmland spanning Allen, Hancock and Hardin counties.
“About 80 to 90 percent of the land is in Allen County,” he said. “We have 15 head of beef cattle, and we’ll have calves this spring. We pretty much run with Simmental and Hereford, and we have show cattle. I was always involved in 4-H and FFA, and my daughters are involved in 4-H.”
Currently, Treglia’s partner manages the main day-to-day operations of the farm, while Treglia works more on the accounting side, a necessary job especially given that the farm now has two full-time employees. That has made life easier for Treglia compared to the days when he was first starting out.
“Early on, back 20 years ago, it was tougher,” he said. “We were smaller and didn’t have the funding to do things. Also, my daughters are older, and they help out quite a bit.”
While farming may seem to be a completely different lifestyle than law enforcement, there are more similarities than one might think, said Treglia. particularly since both careers require a wide variety of skills.
“(The many responsibilities of farming) go hand in hand with police work,” he said. “In police work, you have to wear so many different hats. You have to be a teacher, a priest, a first responder, all above and beyond being a police officer.”
As Treglia continues his family’s farming tradition, that love of rural farm life is becoming evident in his children.
“My daughter is going to school to be a veterinarian,” he said. “She’s a junior in high school now, but she’s taking classes for it.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima CKelly.