Cover photo for H.N. "Nick" Eicher's Obituary
H.N. "Nick" Eicher Profile Photo

H.N. "Nick" Eicher

September 29, 1940 — August 11, 2023

H.N. "Nick" Eicher

An Arkansas farm boy who would become a global agri-business leader and mentor, H.N. “Nick”

Eicher, 82, of Hot Springs Village, Ark., died on August 11, 2023.

Nick fought many a good fight. He finished the race God set out for him. Most importantly, he

kept the faith.

He was born in Springdale, Ark., on September 29, 1940, to H.H. “Bill” Eicher and Ruth Frances

(Renfro) Eicher.

Nick was an athlete, competing as a basketball and football player and boxer. He graduated

from Springdale High School before going on to earn a business degree from the University of


He had a long and successful agri-business career, largely with Ralston Purina Company, but

Nick liked to point out that his work life began long before that, when as a young kid he

“shoveled chicken [waste] for John Tyson,” founder of Tyson Foods. When he was a college

student, he earned his room and board as an oil driller in Louisiana.

He started with Purina in the plant in Springdale and rose through the ranks, ending up at their

headquarters, Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Mo., where he grew the company’s

international business.

He rose to the level of Vice President of Procurement and was a key leader in Ralston Purina

International. While in this role, Nick was instrumental in the founding of TRADICO, an internal

division of Purina that leveraged global ingredient procurement among divisions of the company.

In 1997, Nick was appointed to the executive management team of Agribrands international

when it spun off from Purina, and continued in this role after a merger with Cargill Animal

Nutrition in 2001.

At his retirement from Cargill in 2006, he founded AGREECO, an international agribusiness

consulting company.

Throughout his business career, Nick’s greatest legacy was as a mentor and developer of

people, building teams from all backgrounds and all cultures.

Nick met the love of his life, Paula, in 1957, during high school when they attended rival

schools. They both loved “calling the hogs” for any sporting event to support their hometown

and the University. They married on December 20, 1962, in Springdale.

Nick and Paula had three children: two sons, Nickolas Sherman Eicher and Eric Anthony Eicher,

and a daughter, Christina Mae Eicher-Bywell.

Nick loved being a grandpa, known as “Pop,” to Kristen Marie (Flavin), Henry Nickolas,

Benjamin Edward, and Harrison Palmer Eicher, and Elizabeth Mae and Brian Aiden Bywell. His

seventh, Katherine Lee Eicher, died in infancy and she wasn’t able to say his name, but Pop

said hers many times. He was also proud to have five great-grandchildren: Jayne, Amelia,

Oliver, Henry Nickolas (III), and Phoebe.

Nick was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Glenn David Eicher; three of his sisters

Helen Elizabeth Reuter, Ruth Ann White, and Judith Jane King; and one of his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife; his children; daughter-in-law, Arla Joyce (Bott) Eicher; and youngest

sister, Debbie Lee Addison.

Nick and Paula retired in 2006 and moved to Hot Springs Village. They loved their retirement

together traveling around the world, playing golf, playing bridge and being part of a large group

of friends and making a difference in the community. Nick and Paula are loved by many and

they are grateful for a life full of friends and family.

A private memorial has been held and a public memorial service will be announced at a later


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