Maybe a rip-rap/plant life combo would be the best solution? I am envisioning Mountain Laurel along your ravine
English Ivy is considered an invasive species...what makes it such a trouble free hearty grower is that it chokes everything it comes across and sucks the life out of it. It's brought down many a tree in my neck of the woods. It escapes the pretty home it is meant to decorate and "invades"
If you can find "native" plants to use you will have minimal upkeep and maximum benefits for plant life, animal life, ravine life, and your barn's life
Here are two sites to help you find some plants: http://www.ecocitycleveland.org/health/restore_backyard.html
And one to help you know which plants to avoid:
Good Luck, and let us know what you do!