LINCOLN — A subsidiary of The Scoular Co. is planning a $50 million manufacturing plant to produce freeze-dried protein ingredients for pet food in Seward.

The Omaha-based company said Wednesday that the plant, 22 miles west of Lincoln, would employ 100 people. The facility is the company’s first manufacturing facility and will serve the growing demand for quality ingredients for pet food, according to a Scoular spokeswoman.

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Gov. Pete Ricketts praised the project, saying it would “deepen (Scoular’s) already strong roots in Nebraska, create new great jobs and grow our state.”

Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier said few communities get a $50 million project. He said it was the biggest economic development news for the city of 7,000 since Walker, now Tenneco, built a muffler plant there more than 40 years ago.