Skip to main content

Minnesota is home to the largest cow collection in the world

  • Author:
  • Updated:

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, 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.

Next Up

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.

Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse

7 Minnesota pumpkin patches to visit this fall

Plenty of patches to pick the best pumpkin

slushy snow

Sven Sundgaard responds to AccuWeather's winter forecast

Take anything beyond a couple weeks with a grain of salt, warns meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.


Rage Against the Machine cancels rest of tour, including MN shows

The cancellations include a 2023 stop at the Target Center.

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.03.16 AM

Watch: Speeding drivers use Minneapolis bike lanes to overtake

Community members have called for better safety precautions in response.

Jamal Smith

Jamal Smith sentenced to life for Plymouth road rage killing

A guilty verdict was determined by a jury this summer.


Largest US Rembrandt collection coming to MIA

The largest collection of works by Rembrandt ever assembled in the United States is coming to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The collection promises to show the career trajectory of this 17th-century Dutch master, from brash young artist to timeless observer of humanity. In addition to undisputed masterpieces by the artist’s hand, visitors will see portraits once attributed to Rembrandt, and find out why they no longer are believed to bear his mark. The exhibit runs June 24, 2012 through Sept. 16. Tickets are $12 to $14. Call 888-642-2787. Tickets may sell out at peak times and on weekends, the art institute says.

Farmer seeks home for collection of 100,000 baseball caps

Scott Legried, a southern Minnesota farmer, is looking for a permanent home to house a collection of more than 100,000 hats. Legried inherited three semis full of baseball caps from his late father, Buckey Legried. KARE 11 says the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce is pushing to create a place to put the hats on display along side the Jolly Green Giant museum.