A Lafayette, Minnesota, woman's cow-llection has earned her a spot in the record books.
Ruth Klossner has thousands of bovine items in her herd that cover nearly every inch of her house, including cookie jars, figurines, wood carvings, wall hangings, toys, games, clothes, books, candles, coffee mugs, pencils, ornaments, floor mats, salt and pepper shakers, and much, much more.
And now she can safely say she has the "largest collection of cow-related items in the world" – in June, her collection of 15,144 cows was verified by Guinness World Records officials, the organization's website says.
The previous record holder – Denise Tubangui of California – had a collection of 2,429 cows.
To celebrate Klossner's new title, her friend's are throwing her a "very dairy celebration" at her Mooseum on Sept. 19, a Facebook event says. Visitors are invited to tour the museum, enjoy ice cream, music, horse drawn rides and other activities for kids.
Tours of Klossner's collection are also available by appointment by calling 507-240-0048 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, KEYC says.
How it all began
Klossner’s love for the animal, and her collection, have spanned decades. Her love of bovines began when she was a young girl growing up on a dairy farm and participating in 4-H programs – one of her oldest cow-related items in her collection is a 4-H cow trophy she won in 1964 as a Nicollet County Holstein Girl, KARE 11 reported in 2013.
She bought her first collectible at a house auction in October 1973, paying $8 for the cow and calf figurine, the St. Peter Herald reported. But she really got serious about collecting in 1979.
Many of her cow items are gifts; the others were picked up at auctions and souvenir shops. And even after obtaining the Guinness World Record, she's still gathering spotted cows to add to her collection, KSTP reports.
“Some people say I’m the easiest person to buy for because they just buy a cow,” she told the St. Peter Herald. “Some people say I’m the hardest, because they’re afraid I already have it.”
Her passion for all things cattle has graced both local and international headlines, including agriculture publications in Polish and Danish, reports note.