You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way

Ice cream, you scream, we'll all scream when dairy prices start skyrocketing in President Donald Trump's America.

The dairy industry depends on foreign-born workers, but if immigrant workers are forced out of the country like Trump proposes they should be, there could be dire consequences.

Losing immigrant workers in the dairy industry would have a "ripple effect" that would impact the price of milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products, Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at University of Wisconsin, Madison, said in a phone interview. Dairy farmers depend on immigrant labor to keep farms running smoothly.

You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way
A dairy farm in the US
Source: Regina Garcia Cano/AP

"Over the last 30 years, we've had many more immigrants filling positions on farms that had previously been filled by family members," Stephenson said, explaining that legal and illegal immigrants make up roughly half the dairy labor force.

Retail milk prices could increase by as much as 90% — National Federation of Milk Producers

In Wisconsin, 60% of dairy farm workers are undocumented, Bloomberg reported. These workers aren't taking away jobs from Americans, Gordon Speirs, a farmer from Brillion and president of the state's Dairy Business Association told Bloomberg, explaining that there's a critical need for people to work these kinds of jobs.

RELATED: 10 supermarket traps stores use to get you to spend more:

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10 supermarket traps
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10 supermarket traps

Large shopping carts

According to Martin Lindstrom, the larger the shopping cart, the more likely you are to spend. The marketing consultant told The Consumerist"We doubled their size as a test, and customers bought 19% more."

Pleasing aromas and colorful sights

Walking into a grocery store and smelling freshly baked goods and flowers, especially if you're in a good mood, is a surefire way to get you to throw a few unnecessary items into your cart as your begin shopping experience.

Fresh produce first​

After you've already been tricked into picking up a loaf of bread or some flowers, supermarkets also get you by placing the produce in the front of the store. By doing this, they fool you into believing you're being healthier by shopping for fruits and veggies first so you won't feel bad if you decide to stock up on a few unhealthier snacks along the way to checkout, too.

Mist on produce

You may think the mist on fresh fruits and veggies is helping the produce, but in all actuality, it makes them rot faster. Also, be sure to shake off the access water before purchasing your produce -- the mist tends to add additional weight, making the price go up.

Slow, boring music

Have you ever wondered why most grocery stores play some sort of elevator music? It's because they want you to take your time while shopping. Many stores play music slower than the average heartbeat, so pop your headphones in and play upbeat music to combat this trick.

10-for-$10 promotions

It's common to believe you're getting a great deal during a 10-for-$10 promotion, but say, if a can of beans was originally 87 cents, you're actually paying more versus buying 10 of the same cans when they aren't on "sale."

Dairy being in the back of the store

The reasoning behind the age-old trick of placing milk and other dairy products in the back of the store may surprise you. Although it forces you to walk through various aisles, the true reason is because trucks unload their shipments in the back of store, and since milk needs to be refrigerated immediately, the easiest place to keep it is in the back.

More expensive items at eye level

If you've ever wondered why all of the expensive items seem to be the most accessible, there's a reason behind that, too. Supermarkets place cheaper items on the lower and higher shelves and reserve the middle, or eyesight level, shelves for their most expensive products.

Buying premium deli products

Just because you are buying a seemingly fresh cut of meat or fish from the deli and paying a higher price, doesn't necessarily mean the product is of better quality. Often times, the meat was previously frozen meaning you may have to use it sooner than meat you would buy from the frozen section.

Changing the layout of the store... often

Don't get too comfortable with your local supermarket's layout. Markets believe that when a person remembers where there items they plan on buying are, they'll spend less time in the store and will ultimately spend less money.

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"The dairy farmers are desperate for labor right now," Jerry Dryer, a dairy market analyst who's worked in the industry for more than 45 years, said in a phone interview. "They can't find enough people to work right now, let alone have current employees deported."

The consequences of a labor force without immigrants

Retail milk prices could increase by as much as 90% if the U.S. had no immigrant labor, a 2015 study commissioned by the National Federation of Milk Producers (NFMP) noted. If that did happen, here's how much some of Americans' most favorite dairy products would cost.

You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way
Data taken from the USDA; numbers reflect change in price if product cost 90% more
Source: Mic/USDA/Shutterstock
You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way
Data taken from the USDA; numbers reflect change in price if product cost 90% more
Source: Mic/USDA/Shutterstock
You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way
Data taken from the USDA; numbers reflect change in price if product cost 90% more
Source: Mic/USDA/Shutterstock

These numbers are, of course, just an estimate. Stephenson said that a 90% price increase sounds high. "Even if labor prices had to double, I can't image that it would double the cost of milk," he said.

Dyer disagreed. "You would certainly see a doubling [in milk prices]," he said, explaining that there would even be empty milk shelves if there were total loss of immigrant labor and milk production shrunk by a quarter, as noted in the National Milk Producers Federation study.

Just how much does labor factor into the cost of producing milk?

According to data provided by over 400 dairy farms to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, labor costs are roughly 10% of total costs, Stephenson noted.

"It would certainly be a disruption for quite a period of time," Stephenson said when asked what the dairy industry would be like with no immigrants. "Either we have to entice people out of other workforces," or farmers must invest in expensive automatic milking machines, he noted.

You can expect the cost of ice cream and yogurt to near-double if Trump has his way
A dairy farm in the US
Source: Regina Garcia Cano/AP

But rising milk prices aren't the only thing putting cheese and ice cream prices at risk. "All these trade deals are in jeopardy ... sugar, vanilla, chocolate, anything we import, those prices could go through the ceiling if we interrupt international trade," Dyer said.

Plus, other policies proposed by Trump could spell disaster for the dairy industry. Mexico, which is responsible for importing 3.2% of the U.S. milk supply, could potentially cease importing American dairy "as retaliation for our shenanigans at the border," Dyer noted. Doesn't seem like a lot? In 12 months, Mexico imported 648 million pounds of milk, 199 million pounds of cheese, 22 million pounds of butter, 19 million pounds of whey products from Americans, Dyer noted. Mexico has already stated it will boycott and retaliate against Trump's proposals, Mic previously reported.

A domino effect of jobs lost

Dyer expects that if dairy prices do increase or dairy production falls, there will be a domino effect that decreases jobs in multiple sectors. "Its not just the immigrant who loses his job, it's the guy who hauls his milk to the factory, the cheesemaker, the retail clerk who sells the cheese," he said.

Even though Trump's trying to put "America First," his anti-immigrant agenda could dry up dairy jobs in a big way — and by the time his policies are enacted, almost everyone will be crying over spilled milk.

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