Ruminal lactic acid-producing bacteria were selectively isolated and enumerated using a one hour aerobic exposure prior to incubation on a semi-selective Lactobacillus medium, MRS, under anaerobic conditions. The technique allowed growth of pure cultures of ruminal Lactobacillus spp. and Streptococcus bovis without supporting the growth of pure cultures of any of the prominent ruminal bacterial species. In mixed cultures, the one hour aerobic pre-incubation inhibited the growth of the obligate anaerobic ruminal bacteria which can otherwise grow on the MRS medium, and the subsequent anaerobic incubation permitted maximal recovery of the weakly aerotolerant ruminal lactic acid-producing Lactobacillus spp. and Streptococcus spp. The efficacy of this technique in selecting exclusively for the lactic acid-producing bacteria was also demonstrated from populations of rumen bacteria from mixed culture end-point in vitro fermentation, continuous in vitro culture and isolations from fresh ruminal samples.