Rural communities have faced significant socio-economic challenges for the past several decades due to structural shifts and changing social expectations regarding the management, production of, and markets for natural resources, including production agriculture. The New Natural Resource Economy (NNRE) is an economic development approach to the use of natural resources, including agriculture, in ways that can build healthy environments and healthy, resilient local economies (Hibbard and Lurie, 2013). A major attribute of the NNRE is its focus on very small businesses, the predominant business type in rural settings. Emerging trends, such as regional food networks (RFNs) that connect food producers to consumers within a state or local region, may provide opportunities for rural communities to diversify and expand local businesses around the use of natural resources, thereby helping to restore greater capacity for self-direction and adding to local community vitality. Thus, we address whether RFNs in rural Oregon counties display characteristics of an NNRE development strategy through the relationships between agricultural producers and consumers that support very small agricultural enterprises. Based on analysis of Oregon producer survey data from 2016 in the more rural resource-dependent Oregon counties, we find that the RFN producer survey respondents are indeed very small businesses engaged in small-scale, multifunctional agriculture. They are motivated by economic, social, and environmental concerns as they contribute to the economic activity in their communities. We also surveyed Oregon consumers, finding that although consumer survey respondents in the same region are not primarily driven to buy local based on environmental considerations, they are nonetheless interested in supporting agriculture and local businesses. The demand for local products can create a virtuous cycle contributing to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the community. Given appropriate policy and program support, there is fertile ground to create new opportunities to generate farm income and acquire food within the NNRE healthy environment-healthy economy paradigm for rural economic development.