Gov. John Carney visited Jennie E. Smith Elementary School on Tuesday to promote agriculture education.

Carney read from the book “Zora’s Zucchini” and talked to the 85 third-graders about the importance of agriculture in Delaware. He noted that the state has 2,500 farms encompassing 500,000 acres.

“It’s really critically important to all of us,” he said.

The governor’s visit was part of the Delaware Farm Bureau’s initiative to donate agriculture books to every elementary school in Delaware, said Executive Director Joseph Poppiti, who delivered a barn-shaped bookshelf and 21 “ag-correct” books.

“They’re not a fairy tale kind of book,” Poppiti said. “Accurate information is provided.”

The initiative is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“The purpose is to make that connection with agriculture that a lot of kids aren’t exposed to,” Poppiti said.

Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse told the students that Delaware is the nation’s top grower of lima beans and that Sussex County raises more chickens than any other county in the United States.

“We have more chickens than people in Delaware,” Carney added.

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