ARE has an extensive and strong research program in various aspects of agricultural and environmental economics.  Research activities are supported primarily with state and federal funds allocated through the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS), federal grants from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture of USDA, the US Environment Protection Agency, and other federal agencies, and grants from foundations. Agreements with private firms and donors provide additional funds for agricultural economics research activities. The department’s scholarship is ranked among the best in the US and the world (see REPEC, and CWUR rankings). The department has four faculty members who are fellows of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the main professional association, and five professors hold endowed professorships. Several faculty work in multidisciplinary clusters and environmental and resource economists in the department gravitate around the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy.

ARE sponsors research workshops for faculty and students to present their findings. Regularly scheduled workshops include those in Agricultural Economics, Econometrics, Natural Resources (via the Triangle Resource and Environmental Economics workshop)  and International Trade. The workshop series in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics constitutes an important component of the research activities of faculty and students. ARE faculty also collaborate with economists in the Department of Economics in the College of Management. The two departments jointly sponsor the Economics Graduate Program.