The Plateau Research & Education Center is the site of studies on the efficiency of livestock enterprises, fruit and vegetable production and marketing, soil fertility and conservation research, and hay and pasture studies. Early studies at the station helped bring mechanical harvesting of green beans to Tennessee.

Today the Center's research programs reach across the state and the US. One of the Center's multi-state, multi-agency, multidisciplinary efforts is in the Rutgers University-based Interregional Research Project No. 4, which involves the USDA, EPA, the agrichemicals industry and others in investigations of minor crops -- those grown on 300,000 acres or less, which encompasses most food crops other than large-acreage commodity crops such as corn and soybeans.