Contract pickers, cousins Molly Keeley, 20, and Chelsea Klys, 18, stand before the picker and a pink bale at Cameron and Tracey Geddes' farm west of Emerald. Photos - Kelly Butterworth.

Cotton bales go pink for McGrath Foundation

Emerald cotton fields are a bit brighter this season - with pink bales taking the place of the traditional yellow in the name of charity.

PINK is the colour of the cotton season in Emerald, with pickers doing away with the usual yellow wrap in the name of charity.

The pink cotton modules are more than just a pretty sight – for every pink bale, Vanderfield are donating 50c to the McGrath Foundation. 

For contract pickers and cousins Molly Keeley, 20, and Chelsea Klys, 18, the initiative hits a little closer to home, after their Grandmother successfully fought breast cancer. 

The pink bales all lined up west of Emerald.

Molly said the pink wrap was a “great idea”.

“I had no idea that the bale wrap actually came in other colours, and when I heard about it I thought the pink was cool, but then when they said it was for the breast cancer I just really liked the idea,” she said.

“For Vanderfield to be donating the money to the foundation is just such a good idea.

“It reminds us all about the pink, about breast cancer.” 

Molly, who was on the picker at Cameron and Tracey Geddes farm west of Emerald this week, said she does a bit of everything within the picking team – including keeping the ground crew and the pickers running. 

Molly Keeley.

She said being a female in the field was always a bit of a challenge, but a welcome one. 

“We’re probably underestimated by a lot of the men and the women too,” she said.

“A lot of people are a bit against the girls doing this work because it’s big hours and heavy lifting, but really it’s quite enjoyable and it’s good to work hard.”

This is Molly’s second picking season, but she grew up in the industry. 

Chelsea Klys.

As for Chelsea, who is on a 12 month working Visa from Calgary, Canada, she said was thoroughly enjoying her time with the picking crew alongside her cousin. 

This is her first season, and said she had worked in the hay industry but was liking the cotton.

“I have five months left, we’ve been doing the harvest season,” she said. 

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