This chapter examines how smart development strategies are developed in rural areas. An external factor had a favourable effect: a regional training programme in starting up businesses in rural areas. The transformation of farming activities into food production activities characterized by product and organizational innovations, illustrates how rural actors can convert natural resources into powerful local assets. The construction of a smart rural specialization is also bound up with the labour market. Cooperatives become smart actors of rural development when they operate their serve their members’ interests. Supporting enterprises in structuring networks of stakeholders and in reinforcing their social capital could increase the multiplier effect of public policies for rural development. The need for local human capital and skills enhancement is one the main concerns of regional development policies. Studying farmers’ cooperatives provides interesting insight into the innovation processes implemented by farmers and of the partnerships and competencies at work in smart sustainable development.