IF A Senate inquiry into the distribution of beef cattle levies gets up, the committee members deserve some sympathy.
For starters, the paperwork. Any Senate committee should expect to be snowed under paper, and this won't be any different.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), which has had to defend its existence every step of the way since its formation 14 years ago, is deep into documentation. If the committee seeks evidence, MLA will have it by the wheelbarrow load.
Despite slender resources, Cattle Council Australia (CCA) has spent a couple of years generating paper too, as it looks for a way to expand its representation. This investigation meant that CCA chief executive Jed Matz dropped 200 pages of briefing notes onto Barnaby Joyce on Monday, just as a preliminary.
Although it doesn't lack the desire for documentation, the Australian Beef Association (ABA) is the least equipped to do so. For the ABA's one office staffer and its small group of volunteers, writing a submission to the inquiry will likely involve a lot of midnight oil.
ABA members aren't shy of the stump, though, which is another area where the Senate inquiry will find itself with a lot of material.
Unlike politicians, graziers don't do soundbites. They do long, leisurely yarns around utes or on verandahs. This approach to discussion tends to be carried into meetings, at great cost to the schedule.
If it survives the paperwork and the meetings, the Senate committee will then have to try and stitch a coherent response from a patchwork of opinions.
Views on how the beef cattle sector should be run are as broad as the cattle business is geographically. This is the only agricultural sector that stretches from corner to corner of the continent, and most places in between.
It's virtually guaranteed that the inquiry will leave some producers disaffected, however carefully the committee members tread.
In the end, though, it's not what the committee recommends that counts, but the cattle industry's response to the whole exercise.
It can only be hoped that all the defenders in this long-running saga choose this moment to call a truce, come down from their towers and shake hands in the middle of the battlefield.
And then, they need to start jointly building another tower, the position from which the Australian beef industry will tackle booming Asian markets and defend against the real enemy: everyone else.