Cattle production is one of the most important livestock activities in the rural areas of Mexico, with most of the national territory dedicated to it, in addition to the use of the most agricultural supplies and forages resources, as well as agricultural and agro-industrial by-products. Mexico is placed among the ten first meat and milk producer countries worldwide, being the Mexican tropical zone one of the main suppliers of such products. One of the main milk sources is the dual purpose cattle, such systems can be described as those that produce milk (daily milking) and meat (calf after weaning), on every productive cycle. They are mainly located in developing regions and characterized by using low-technology and in poor environments, consequently productive levels are considered low. Milk is destined for self-consumption or for sale at local markets and calf after weaning is sold at local feedlots or for export. Regarding to the little information available about the dual purpose systems, the present work is intended to discuss the main characteristics of cattle production in dual purpose systems in Mexico.