Updated: Sep 2, 2020
One of the greatest auctioneers of purebred livestock of all time.
1922-2012 | Artist: Richard Steward Halstead (born 1947)
Impact & Accomplishments
When he returned from military service in World War II, Colonel Ray Sims was
introduced to the seedstock auction business. At that time, cattle sales were slowpaced
and leisurely, with 50 to 60 animals offered over the course of a four or five
hour stretch. Ray Sims changed all of that, developing a signature auctioneering style
marked by rapid, rhythmic chant and enthusiastic delivery.
The 1956 country music hit, “The Auctioneer,” by Leroy Van Dyke and Buddy Black, was written about him. His career coincided with the rise of the Angus breed, and he revolutionized purebred
sales, cutting auction time in half, engaging buyers in the excitement, and elevating
prices for sellers.
Over the course of his 46-year career, Ray Sims presided over an estimated 7,000
auctions, including sales for three U. S. presidents. This National Auctioneers
Association Hall of Famer was the first auctioneer in more than 50 years to be
honored in the Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Collection. In 1986, Ray Sims retired to
his Raymore, Missouri ranch.
Did You Know?
Leroy Van Dyke, who worked with Sims and other auctioneers as a field representative for the Chicago Drovers Journal in the 1950s, was catapulted into country music fame in 1956 with his composition "The Auctioneer," a song (co-written with Buddy Black) about the life of his cousin Col. Ray Sims. The single sold over 2.5 million records.
Sims understood what the sale meant to the host breeders. He knew they had made a great investment of time, effort and money to breed, raise and present their cattle for sale.
“They deserved to get all the value they could get from their cattle. They looked to me for help in getting a return on that investment. I knew I could do it if I worked hard, but I enjoyed it, too,” grins Sims.
Courtesy of Angus TV