Scoular, an Omaha, Neb.-based company that buys, sells, transports and stores grain, feed ingredients and food ingredients, recently announced that a subsidiary will build a new freeze-drying manufacturing facility in Seward, Neb.
The facility will establish Scoular's new freeze-dried pet food ingredients platform. About $50 million will be invested to build the facility, which is expected to create about 100 jobs once it is operational.
"It was clear to us following an extensive national search that Seward is an ideal community for us to join and grow together,” Scoular CEO Paul Maass said. “We are excited to begin this process with the people of Seward.
“As the pet food industry has grown and expanded, so too has the need for quality ingredients. Pet owners increasingly seek protein-rich, nutritious and convenient products. Scoular has worked with pet food partners for years providing procurement and supply-chain solutions. This facility will provide our pet food customers a simplified and efficient ingredient supply chain, while meeting the fast-growing demand for freeze-dried protein ingredients."
This location provides an advantage because of its proximity to raw material suppliers. These raw materials primarily include frozen beef, chicken or salmon, mixed with dry ingredients as specified by customers — and Scoular anticipates most of the frozen beef and chicken ingredients potentially could be sourced from Nebraska suppliers.
The facility will receive the protein or dry ingredients already processed as frozen meats. Then, they are manufactured and packaged into freeze-dried protein ingredients.
"This latest expansion by Scoular, one of America's largest private companies, is a testament to our state's world-class business climate and agricultural strength," Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said. "Their investment in Seward will deepen their already strong roots in Nebraska, create new great jobs and grow our state."
"We are very excited to welcome Scoular to the Seward community," Seward mayor Josh Eickmeier said. "Communities across Nebraska don't see very many $50 million economic development projects, and Seward hasn't seen a large industry come here since Walker, now Tenneco, built its facility more than 40 years ago."
A groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated for June, which will celebrate the start of construction on an approximately 105,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at the Seward/Lincoln Regional Rail Campus. Construction will take about 14 to 16 months, with the goal of the facility being operational by fall 2020.
One of the reasons Seward was chosen was the available labor pool of talented, hardworking people. As the company begins to recruit for jobs at the new facility, it looks forward to hiring from within Seward and surrounding communities for new positions.
"We appreciate the teamwork and partnerships between Scoular, the community of Seward and the state of Nebraska that have made this project a reality," Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe said. "Scoular is a valued member of our business community, and we're excited to see that relationship continue to grow and thrive."
Learn more about the project and see progress updates at www.scoular.com/freeze-dried.