The owner of a horse farm in Michigan is being investigated by the office of the state’s Attorney General (AG) Dana Nessel after she refused to sell her farm to a Chinese company.
Lori Brock, the proprietress of Majestic Friesians Horse Farm in Big Rapids, has been targeted by Nessel after she refused to sell her property to the Chinese firm Gotion. It has expressed plans to build its electric vehicle (EV) battery plant near her 15o-acre farm. The company, a subsidiary of Guoxuan High Tech Co. based in China’s eastern Anhui province, reportedly has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touted Gotion’s proposed $951 million EV battery plant in Big Rapids, adding that at least $750 million in tax dollars will subsidize it. The Democratic governor’s allies in the Michigan Senate’s Appropriations Committee approved Gotion’s plan to build its facility on April 20.
Whitmer lauded Gotion’s plant as “the biggest-ever economic development project in Northern Michigan” in October 2022. However, the governor ignored the potential environmental impact that the project could bring. Gotion’s battery plant will reportedly consume 715,000 gallons of groundwater per day, more than twice the 360,000 gallons per day used by Nestle in its water bottling plant there.
Brock also expressed concern over the plant’s impact on the environment. But what incensed the farm owner was the fact that Gotion lied about its ties to China, community support of the project and hourly wages.
Ultimately, she refused to sell her land to the Chinese company and even held an anti-Gotion rally at her farm. She allowed her horses to roam around, with some of them wearing horse coverings that stated: “I say ‘neigh’ to Gotion.”
Corrupt Nessel weaponizes state government against Brock
Just days after Brock’s rally against Gotion, the state government moved in to harass her. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) received a Right to Farm complaint regarding Majestic Friesians Horse Farm. The complaint alleged that there was manure run-off coming from the farm into the tributaries of the Muskegon River.
According to the farm owner, she anticipates representatives of the MDARD – which is under Nessel’s control – to serve her a copy of the complaint. She believes that the complaint is merely “harassment” on the part of the AG and the governor for her refusal to yield.
Moreover, the harassment leveled against Brock seems to be an expression of frustration on the part of Whitmer’s government. The Democratic chief executive of the Great Lakes State botched a deal with the Ford Motor Company, which decided to build EV facilities in Tennessee and Kentucky – both red states – instead of Michigan. It was later revealed that she had no idea of Ford’s $11.4 billion facilities, amounting to a huge loss for the state. (Related: Ford’s deal with Chinese EV battery maker sparks security concerns.)
Despite the harassment from the state government, Brock has no plans of selling her farm to Gotion. She accused the company of “absolutely cannibalizing all the land near us and scaring people into selling their property.”
“My farm is pristine, and I’m not worried one bit because we’re not doing anything to endanger anything. For 20 horses on 150 acres, there’s no way I’m in violation of anything,” she told the Midwesterner. “I don’t believe in bullies and I will never, ever sell to them. They’d be the last person in this world that I’d ever sell my property to.”
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