Udder surprise: Cow spotted on MU campus for graduation photos

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COLUMBIA - Students walking around MU's famous Quad may have seen an unexpected visitor Thursday.

MU student Massimo Montalbano brought a special guest along for his graduation photoshoot: Amelia the dairy cow. 

Amelia lives at Foremost Dairy Research Center and has quite the resume. In addition to providing gallons upon gallons of milk every day, she is a prize-winning show cow. 

“She won second in her class at the state fair. She’s a good-looking cow and she’s my little buddy,” Montalbano said.

Montalbano said it took some convincing from his girlfriend, Monica Witzke, to take graduation photos. 

“She wanted me to do it and I said, ‘Fine, but if I’m doing it, I’m bringing a cow with me,’” he said. 

He said he always had the idea in the back of his mind, but heard about a spring graduate who took photos with her horse. 

“I figured I would one-up her and bring a cow instead of a horse,” Montalbano said. 

Amelia drew quite a lot of attention.

“There were a lot of cell phones out,” Montalbano said. “I kind of figured people would stare because not many people see cows everyday.” 

Amelia wasn’t too excited to visit MU’s campus at first. 

“She didn’t want to go originally, but I convinced her by putting a little feed in front of her,” Montalbano said.

Montalbano is from Chicago and originally came to MU to study veterinary medicine, but said he quickly fell in love with the cows at the dairy farm after he started working there. 

“Every day is different. One day you’re feeding, one day you’re milking. There’s always something new and it’s a great challenge,” he said. 

Montalbano will receive his degree in animal sciences Saturday. 

After graduation, he will work as a dairy farmer at Grasslands dairy farm in Monett, Mo.