Leadership –

Seward County Commissioner

Serving as KNRC’s President, Jim Rice has many years of experience in county government and the issues concerning local government operations.  His first experience with local government began in the early 1970s, when he was asked to serve as a member of the Seward County Fair Board. In 1980 he began his first term as a Seward County Commissioner and served two terms, retiring in 1988. His interest in local government continued as he served on several other boards prior to moving to Colorado, where he and his wife Carolyn owned and operated the Cactus Patch, in Frisco, CO.  Jim held the position as Manager of the Boulder County Fair & Rodeo in Longmont, CO from 1998 thru 2002. He returned to Seward County in 2004. In 2008, he was again elected to serve as a Seward County Commissioner and continues in that capacity.

Jim has been active at the state level and on many occasions has testified before legislative committees in Topeka on a variety of issues.  Jim takes particular interest in the activities of KNRC as it works with member counties to protect the rights of private property owners and the natural resource base of the member counties.

Jim points out that no other organization is doing what KNRC is doing and asks, “If not KNRC, then who?” Jim reminds us that sine its founding, KNRC has become an important regional source of information, taking positions in support of local government and the established rural way of life. KNRC has the ability to take a stand and provide the documentation to back it up.

He loves politics and encourages all to become involved, especially the younger generation, posing the question, “If an individual can make a difference, imagine what a group of individuals can do?” He concludes, “Don’t rely on someone else to voice your opinion.”

Steering Committee Member
Clark County Commissioner

Steering Committee Member
Kearny County Commissioner

Born in Lakin Kansas, Gary Hayzlett was first elected as a Kearny County Commissioner in 1974 and remained in office until 1990, when he was elected to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives, an office he held until 2012. While there, he chaired the House Transportation Committee from 1998 until his departure from the House in 2012.

In 2016 he was once again elected to the Kearny County Commission, and is also serving as a member of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Commission.

He is the past president of the Kansas County Commissioners Association, past president of the Kansas Legislative Policy Group, and past president of the Kansas Association of Counties Governing Board.

Living in Spearville, Commissioner Hayzlett is married and has three daughters.


Ford County Commissioner

Shawn Tasset became treasurer of KNRC in December 2018. In December 2013, he was appointed to complete the term of the resigning First District Commissioner of Ford County. Shawn was elected to serve a four-year term beginning January 2015 in that position.

Following graduating from Spearville High School, Shawn served for five years in the U.S. Navy, after which he moved to Greeley, CO.

Shawn and his wife Kelly, along with their four children, Lane, Madison, Trace and Quentin, reside in Spearville.  Shawn is the President of Tasset Family Farms, Inc. and is joined by his brother, Allen and cousin, Dana Howerton, as partners in this fourth generation family farm and ranch.

Shawn says that he realizes the scope of his responsibility toward the folks he represents, and while he is not (as yet) a seasoned commissioner, he does understand the importance of service in general and servanthood in particular, and that responsibility accompanies and plays a part in his life decisions.


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